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A second edition of this book has long been called for 
and in bringing it out the publisher wishes to point out 
that he has thought it fit to add two itaore brilliant lectures 
of the Swami delivered at Lahore and to insert, through 
the kindness of a friend, a few marginal notes. As it was 
deemed desirable to differentiate the replies of the Swami 
from the various addresses presented to him, they have 
been printed in different types in this edition. These 
changes, it is hoped, will enhance the value of this edition. 
An alteration in the price of .the book has also been found 
necessary as the first edition was priced very low and 
sa the additional lectures have also considerably swelled 
the size of the book. 


After a residence of nearly four years in the West 
Swami Vivekananda returned to his own country, and 
landing at Colombo, delivered the lectures pubHshed in 
this volume, the last but one of them being the famous ora- 
tion delivered in Calcutta, his native city. His progress 
through Ceylon to Southern India, through Southern India 
to Madras and thence to Calcutta and Almora was marked 
by all those signs of veneration, reverence and devoted 
love which Indian people are wont to show to those whom 
they look upon as Divine Messengers. In the brief ac- 
count of journeys given below, no complete description 
of this characteristic feature has been attempted, nor of 
the picturesque oriental displays which everywhere greet- 
ed the Teacher, Intact the descriptive portion has been 
made to serve the purpose alone of presenting each lec- 
ture in the circumstances in which it was delivered, alid 
not in any sense of describing a journey which was of 
unusual interest. All eastern students, and still more 
perhaps those of England and America will welcome 
this book, containing as it does the latest utterances 
. of their much loved Teacher, for the lectures exhibit to 
the Hindu the fervid patriotism of the ^* Calcutta boy '' 
and to the American and the English that larger patrio- 
tism which counts the world as its home, and all the 
people in it, as fellow-countrymen. 

F, Henrietta Muller, B. A. 

















Paramakudi ... 


Ram NAD 




I •• 

• •» 


• •» 

• •» 

• »• 




• •>•• 

I •■» 







. 7^ 








HE Swami Vivekananda travelled from England by '^"»«^« 
the steamer Prince Regent Leopold, of the North Ger- 

man Lloyd Line, and was accompanied by three of his 
English friendi^. The voyage was of a pleasant character, 
and gave the Swami a very much needed rest after his 
incessant labour in the West for three and a half years. 
Indeed the rest was required more than the Swami antici- 
pated, for from Colombo be.i]fan a series of receptions and 
demonstrations which continued, without intermission, 
until Calcutta was reached. When the steamer reached 
Colombo harbour, on the afternoon of January f 5th, 1897, 
the Swami was met on board b)*- Swami Niranjanananda, 
one of his Guru-Bhais, Mr. T. G. Harririon, a Buddhist 
gentleman resident in Colombo, Mr, Kanaga Sabha and 
Mr. Sockanathan, two members of a reception committee 
which had been formed among the Hindu community of 
Colombo to give him a fitting reception on his return to 
the A steam launch had been secured for the pur- 
pose of taking him ashore, and when this reached the dock 
it was seen that a crowd numbering many thousands of 
Hindus was thronging the wharf and the road-way outside. 
Enthusiastic cheering greeted the Swami's arrival, and 
this was continued as he walked through the crowd 
to a carriage in which he was driven with the Hon. 
P. Coomara Sawmy, M. L. C, to a new and handsome 
bangalow in Barnes Street, which had been prepared for 

his reception. Barnes Street is on the outskirts of Cc- 
lombo, and leads directly out of the cinnamon gardens, 
the road between the gardens and the bangalow being 
about a quarter of a mile in extent. At the entrance to 
this road an exceedingly handsome triumphal arch formed 
of branches, leaves, and flowers of the cocoanut tree, bore 
a welcome motto to the Swami, and the intervening quart- 
er of a mile between this and the bangalow was flanked 
on either aide with split pahnyra leaves, bent over in such 
a manner as to form a continuous festoon. Another and 
similar tiriumphal arch marked the entrance to the bangalow 
compound. In these grounds preparations had been made 
for the official reception, and in the presence of a very 
large number of Hindus the Hon. P. Coomara Sawmy 
read the following address of welcome: — 



Ketered Sib, 

In pursuance of a resolution passed at a public meeting, of 

ieH^d *^® Hindus of the city of Colombo, we beg to offer you a hearty 

^ Colombo welcome to this Island. We deem it a privilege to be the first to 

welcome you on your return home from your great mission in the 


We have watched with joy and thankfulness the success with 
which the mission has, nnder God's blessing, been crowned. You 
have proclaimed to the nations of Europe and America the Hindu 
ideal of a universal religion, hannonisnng all creeds, providing' 
spiritual food for each soul according to its needs, and lovingly 
drawing it unto God. You have preached the Truth and the 
Way taught from remote ages by a succession of Masters whose 
blessed feet have walked and sanctified the soil of India, and 
whose gracious presence and inspiration hare made her through 
«II her vicissitudes the Light of the World. 

To the inspiration of such a Master, Sri BamaKrishna 
Paramahamsa De?a, and to your self-sacrificing zeal, western 
nations owe the priceless boon of being placed in living contact 
with the spiritual genius of India, while to many of our own 
countrymen, delivered from the glamour of western civilization, 
the value of our glorious heritage has been brought home, 

By your noble work and eiample you have laid Humanity 
under an obligation difficult to repay, and you have shed fresh 
lustre upon our Mother-land. We pray that the grace of God 
may continue to prosper you and your work, and 

We remain, Eevered Sir, 
Tours faithfully, 
for and on behall oi: the Hindus of Colombo, 


Member of the Legislative Council of Ceylon, 

Chairman of the Meeting . 

Colombo^ January 1897, Secretary, 

It was now late in the evening, and, as the da/ had Religion o 
been fatiguing, the Swami gave but a brief reply, express- /^^^tf^^| 
ive of his appreciation ot the kind welcome he had receiv- ^^?£l^ 
ed. But he took advantage of the opportunity to point 
out that the demonstration had not. been in honor of a 
great politician, or a great soldier, or a millionaire, but of 
a begging Sannyasi, showing the tendency of the Hindu 
mind towards religion. He urged the necessity of keeping 
religion as the backbone of the national life, if the nation 
were to live, and disclaimed any personal character for the 
welcome he had received, but insisted upon its being the 
recognition of a principle. 

During the succeeding day, Saturday, the Bangalow, 
(which, by the bye, is to be named Vivekananda Lodge in 

honor of the Swami's visit) was thronged incessantly by - 
visitors. It became, indeed, a phice of pilgrimage, the 
honor and respect shown to the Swami being something 
of which no conception can be formed by tho?e who are 
accustomed to the religious demonstration of the West, 
It was giving practical effect to the theory which alone 
obtains in India, that of Guru-Bhakti (devotion to the 
teacher). Among the many visitors were men from all sta- 
tions in life, from the first officials in Ceylon to the very 
poor. An interesting example, as illustrative of much the 
Swami has said of the religious character of the people of 
India, may be mentioned. A poor woman, who was evi- 
dently in distres:*, came to see the Swami bearing in her 
hands the customary offering of fruit, and it appeared that 
her husband had left her in order that he might be undis- 
turbed in his search for God. The woman wanted to 
know more about God, she said, so that she could follow 
in his footstep?. The Swami advised her to read the 
Bhagavad Gita and pointed out to her that the best way 
to make religion practical to one in her station was the 
proper fulfilment of house-hold duties. Her reply was 
very significant. ''I can read it, but what good will that 
do me if I cannot understand it and feel it ?" — a striking 
example, first of the truth of the saying that religion does 
not rest in books, and secondly of the amount of deep reli- . 
gious thought to be found among the poor, and apparently 
uneducated, of the East. To those who were new to 
Eastern religious customs there were many incidents of 
great interest. One of these to which allusion may be 
made is the practice of a religious teacher giving a fruit to 
his pupils, a present of any kind from a man of God being 
greatly treasured by those who recieve it. Another inter- 
esting circumstance was the presentation of a dinner by a 
Hindu from the North Western Provinces a poor man who 

nevertheless, had been unsparing in the preparation of the 
meal, but neither the Swami nor any one with him could 
induce him to L e seated in the presence of the Swami, this 
being, in his eyes, a mark of great disrespect to one in the 
Swami's position. It will interest Western readers of this 
book, too, to know that the greeting from a Hindu to a 
saunyasi is an obeisance and the words " Namo Naraya- 
naya," (salutation to God) to which the sannyasi replies 
" Narayana." 

On the Saturday evening the Swami gave a public Pirst puhi 
lecture in tlie Floral Hall to an audience which thronged ^^''^^J 
the building from corner to corner. Peculiar interest attaches 
to this lecture as it was the first w'hich he gave in the 
East, for most of our readers will be aware that until he 
spoke at the Chicago Parliament of Religions he had never 
lectured in his hfe, religious teaching in India being given 
in the form of question and answer between the guru and 

The Swami spoke in the following terms : — 

What little work has been done by me has not been 
from any inherent power that resides in me, but Irom the 
cheer.-*, the good- will, the blessings, that have followed my 
path in the West from this our very beloved, most sacred, 
dear mother-land. Some good has been done, no doubt, 
but especially unto myself, for what before was the result, 
perhaps, of an emotional nature, gained the conviction of 
certainty, attained the power and strength of demonstra- 
tion. Before then, as every Hindu thinks, I thought — as j^^.^ . 
the Hon. President has just pointed out to you — that this Punya 
is the Punya B/iumi, the land of Karma. To-day I stand landoj 
here to say, with the conviction of truth, that it is so, that ^^^'^ 
if there is any land on this earth that can lay claim to be 
the blessed Punya Bhumi, to be the land to w^iich all souls 
on this earth must come to account for Karf/ia, the land 

where every soul which is wending its way Godward must 
come to attain its last home, the land where humanity has 
attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosi- 
ty, towards purity, towards calmness, the land above all 
of introspection and of spirituality, it is India, Hence 
have started the founders of religions from the most an- 
cient times, deluging the earth again and again with the 
pure and perennial waters of spiritual truth. Hence have 
proceeded the tidal waves of philosophy that have covered 
the earth. East or West, North or South, and hence again 
must start the wave which is going to spiritualise the 
material civilization of the world. Here is the life-giving 
water with which must be quenched the burning fire of 
materialism, burning the core of the hearts of millions in 
other lands. Believe me, my friends, this is going to be. 

So far I think I have seen ; so far those ot you who are 
students of the history of races already are aware also. 
The debt which the world owes to this our mother-land is 
immense. Taking country with country there is not one 
race on this earth to which the world owes so much as to 
J^r^fa ^^® patient Hindu, the mild Hindu, *'The mild Hindu' 
-each; Us sometimes is used as an expression of reproach, but if ever 
' ^* a reproach concealed a wonderful truth it is the '' mild 
Hindu", who has been the blessed child of God always. 
Civilizations have arisen in other parts of the world. In 
ancient times and in modern times great ideas have eman- 
ated from strong and great races. In ancient or in modern 
times wonderful ideas have been carried forward from one 
race to another. In ancient or in modern times seeds of 
great truth and power have been cast abroad by advan- 
cing tides of national life, but mark, my friends, it has been 
always with the blast of war trumpets, and with the march 
of embattled cohorts. Each idea had to be soaked in 
deluges of blood ; each idea had to advance on the blood of 

millions of our fellow beings, each word of power had to 
be followed by the groans of millions, by the wails of or- 
phans, by the tears of widows. Thus, in the main, other 
nations, have taught, and India for thousands of years has 
existed. Here activity existed when even Greece did not 
exist, when Rome was not thought of, when the very 
fathers of the modem Europeans lived in the German 
Forests painting themselves blue. Even earlier, when 
history has no record, and tradition dares not peer into 
the gloom of that intense past, from then until now ideas 
after ideas have marched out from her, but every word The Hm 
has been spoken with blessing behind it, and peace before ^^ mgrlu 
it ; we of all nations of the world have never been a con- 
quering race, and that blessing is on our head ; therefore 
we live. There was a time when at the march o\ big 
Greek battalions the earth trembled. Vanished off the 
face o*^ the earth, not even a tale left to tell, gone land of 
the Greeks. There was a time when the Roman Eagle 
floated over everything worth having in this world ; every- 
where Rome went, pressing it on the head of humanity ; 
the earth trembled at the name of Rome. But the Capi- 
toUne Hill is a mass of ruins, the spider weaves its web 
where Caesars ruled. There have been other nations 
equally glorious that come and go, living a few hours of 
exultant and of exuberant dominance, and of wicked na- 
tional life, and vanishing like ripples on the face of the 

So have these nations made their mark on the face of 
humanity. But you live, and if Manu came back to-day 
he would not be astonished, and would not find himself in 
a foreign land. The same laws are here, laws adjusted 
thought out through thousands and thousands of years, 
customs the outcome of the acumen of ages and the ex- 
perience of centuries, that seem to be eternal ; and as the 


days go by, as blow upon blow of misfortune has been de- 
livered upon them, they seem to have served one purpose 
making them stronger and more constant. And to find 
the centre of all that, the heart from which the blood 
flows, the main spring of the national life, believe me after 
^eiw'on is ^y ^^^^^ experience of the world, it is here. To the other 
^ht mam- natious of the world religion is one among the many occu- 
atumaiiife pations of life. There is politics, there are the enjoyments 
of social life, there is all that wealth can buy, or power 
can bring, there is all that the senses can enjoy, and 
among all these various occupations of life, and all this 
searching after something more, something which can give 
a little more whetting to the cloyed senses — among all 
these there is a . little bit of religion. But here, in India, 
, ^^ . religion is the one and the only occupation of life. That 
nfyoccu- there has been a Chino- Japanese war, how many of you 
h/e know ? Very few, if any. That there are tremendous 
political movements and socialistic movements trying to 
transform Western society, how many of you know ? Very 
few, if an}'. But that there was a parliament of religions 
in America, that there was a Hindu Sannyasin sent over 
there, I am astonished to find even the cooly knows. 
That shows the way the wind blows, where the national 
life is. I used to hear, especially from foreigners — I used 
to read books written by globe trotting travellers who 
wailed at the ignorance of the Eastern masses, but I found 
out it was true and at the same time untrue. I see a 
Western ploughman in England, or America, or France, or 
Germany, or anywhere. Ask him what party he belongs 
to, and he can tell you whether he belongs to the Radicals 
or the Conservatives, and for whom he is going to vote. 
In America he knows whether he is Republican or De- 
mocrat, and even knows something about the silver ques- 
tion» But ask him about hig religion. He goes to churchi 

that is all he knows. He goes to church, and perhaps his 
father belonged to a certain denomination. That done all 

Come to India, take one of our ploughmen. ''Do you 
know anything about politics ?" "What is that ?'* he 
says ; he does not understand about the socialistic move- 
ments, the relation between capital and labour, and all 
that — never heard of such things in his life ; he works 
hard, gets his bread ; all right. "What is your religion ?" 
'^Look here, my friend, I have marked it on my fore- 
head." He can give me a good hint or two on questions 
of religion. That has been my experience. That is our 
nation's life. As individuals have each their own pecu- 
liajities, each man has his own method of growth, his own 
life marked out for him, as we Hindus would say, by the 
infinite past life, by all his past Karma ; because into this 
world, with all the past on him, the infinite past ushers the 
present, and the way in which we use the prefient is going 
to make the future. Thus everyone bom into this world 
has a bent, a direction towards which he must go, through 
which he must live, and what is true of the individual is 
equally true of the race. Each race, similarly, has a pecu- 
liar bent, each race has a peculiar raison detre^ each race 
has a pecuhar mission to fulfil in the life of the world. 
Each race has to make its own result, to fulfil its own 
mission. Political greatness or military power, is never 
the mission of our race ; it never was, and, mark my words, 
never will be. But there has been the other mission given 
to us, to conserve, to preserve, to accumulate, as it were, 
into a dynamo, all the spiritual energy of the race, and 
that concentrated energy is to pour forth in a deluge on 
the world whenever circumstances are propitious. Let the 
Persian or the Greek, or the Roman, or the Arab, or the 
Englishman march his battalions, conquer the worlds and 



link the different nations together, and the philosophy and 
spirituality of India is ready to flow along the new-made 
channels into the veins of the nations of the world. The 
calm Hindu's brain must pour out its own quota to give 
to the sum total of human progress. India's gift to the 
world is the light spiritual. 
e influenct Thu9, ih the past we read in history whenever there 

rl«*if •* arose a great conquering nation uniting the different races 
hi past \ of the world, binding India with the other races, taking 
her out, as it were, from her loneliness, Irom her aloofness 
from the rest of the world into which she again and again 
cast herself, wherever such function has been brought ab- 
out, the result has been the flooding of the world with 
Indian spiritual ideas. At the beginning of this centiyy 
Schopenhaeur, the great German philosopher, studying 
from a not very clear translation of the Vedas made from 
an old translation into Persian, and thence by a young 
Frenchman into Latin, says " There has been no study in 
the world, excepting in the original, so ennobling as that 
of Upanishads. These have been the solace of my life; 
they will be the solace of my death," and then this great 
German sage foretold that " The world is about to see a 
revolution in thought more extensive and more powerful 
than that which was witnessed by the Renaissance of 
Greek Literature," and to-day his predictions are coming 
to pass. Those who keep their eyes open, those who un- 
derstand the workings in the minds of the different nations 
of the West, those who are thinkers and study the differ- 
ent nations, will find the immense change that has been 
produced in the tone, the procedure, in tlie methods, and 
in the literature of the world by this slow, never-ceasing 
permeation of Indian thought. But there is another pecu- 
liarity as I have already hinted to you. We never preach- 
ed our thoughts with fire and sword. If there is one word 



in the English language to represent the gift of India un- 
to the world, if there is one word in the English language 
to style the effect which the literature of India produces 
upon mankind, it is this one word '* fascination." It is 
the opposite of anything that takes you suddenly, throws 
on you, as it were, a charm all ot a sudden. To many, 
Indian thought, Indian manners, Indian customs, Indian 
philosophy, Indian literature, are repulsive at the first 
sight, but let them persevere, let them read, let them be- 
come familiar with the great principles underlying these 
ideas, and it is ninety-nine to one that the charm will be 
upon them, fascination will be the result. Slowly and 
silentl}', as the gentle dew that falls in the morning, unseen, 
unheard, yet producing a most tremendous result, has been 
the work of this calm, patient, all-suffering, spiritual race 
upon the world of thought. 

Once more history is going to repeat itself, for to day, ^^ tju/uu 
under the blasting light of modern science, when old, appa- 
rently strong, and invulnerable beliefs have been shattered 
to their very foundations, when special claims laid upon 
the allegiance of mankind by different sects have been all 
blown into atoms and have vanished into air — when the 
sledge hammer blows of modem antiquarian researches are 
pulverising like masses of porcelain all sorts of antiquated 
orthodoxies— when religion in the West is only in the 
hands of the ignorant, and the knowing ones look down 
with scorn upon anything belonging to religion, here comes 
the philosophy of India, the highest religious aspirations of 
the Indian mind, where the grandest philosophical facts 
have been the practical spirituality of the people. This 
naturally is coming to the rescue, the oneness of all the 
immense Infinite, the idea of the Impersonal, the wonder- 
ful idea of the eternal soul of man, of the unbroken conti- 
nuity in the march of beings, the infinity of the universe. 


For the old sects looked upon the world as a little mud 
puddle, and thought that time began but the other day. 
It was there and only there, in our old books, and through 
all ages, the grand idea governing all the search for religion, 
the infinite range of time, space and causation, and above 
all the infinite glory of the spirit of man. When the 
modern tremendous theories of evolution and conservation 
of energy and so forth are dealing death blows to all sorts 
of crude theologies, what can hold any more the allegiance 
of cultured humanity but the most wonderful of convin- 
cing, broadening, and ennobling ideas, that can only be 
found in that most marvellous product of the soul of man, 
the wonderful voice of God, the Vedanta. 

At the same time I must remark that what I mean 
%cipiesaf by our religion working upon the nations outside of India 
^'^^isAed is Only the principles, the back-ground, the foundation 
m^^^*^ upon which that rehgion is built. The detailed workings, 
tor iaws the minute points which have been worked out through 
centuries of social necessity, little ratiocinations about 
manners and customs and social well-being, do not rightly 
find a place in the category of religion. We know, at the 
pame time, that what our books lay down is only for the 
time, for we find there a clear distinction made between 
the two sets of truths, the one which abides for ever, built 
upon the nature of man, the nature of the soul, the soul's 
relation to God, the nature of God, perfection and so on, 
the principles of cosmology, of the infinitude of creation, 
how that it is no creation, but it is only projection, the 
the wonderful law of the cyclical procession, and so on — 
these are the eternal principles founded upon facts which 
are universal in nature. Then there are the minor laws, 
more properly belonging to the Puranas, to the Smritis, 
and not to the Srutis, guiding the working of our 
everyday life. These have nothing to do with the other 



things. Even in our own nation these have been chang- 
ing all the time. Customs of one age, of one ytiga, have 
not been the customs of another, and as yuga comes after 
yugOf they will still have to change. Great Rishis will 
appear and lead us into manners and customs that are 
suited to new environments. 

The great principles underlying all this wonderful, j-j^^y^ 
infinite, ennobling, expansive view of man, and God, and '^^ '^^^ ^^* 
the world, have been produced in India, and in India alone 
man did not stand up and fight for a little tribe God. 
" My God is true and yours is not true ; let us have a good 
fight over it." It was only here that such ideas did not 
occur as fighting for little gods. These great underlying 
principles being based upon the eternal nature of man are 
as potent to-day for working for the good of the human 
race as they were thousands of years ago, and they will 
remain so so long as this earth remains, so long as the law 
of Karma remains, so long as we are born as individuals 
and have to work out our own destiny by our individual 

And above all, what India has to give to the world 
is this. If we watch the growth and development of reli- ^*^^^^ 
gions in different races, we shall always find this, that 
each tribe at the beginning has a god of its own. If the 
tribes are allied to each other these gods will have a 
generic name, as all the Babylonian gods for example ; 
when the Babylonians were divided into so many races 
they had the generic name of Baal, just as the Jewish 
races had different gods with the common name of 
Moloch : and at the same time you will find that one of 
these tribes becomes superior to the rest, and it lays a 
claim to its own king being the king over all. Therefrom 
it naturally follows that it also wants to preserve its own 
god as the god of all the races. Baal-Merodach, said the 

Babylonians, was the greatest god ; all the others were 
inferior. Moloch- Yaviih was the superior over all other 
Molochs ; and these questions had to be decided by the 
fortunes of battle. The same struggle was here, in India 
also the same competing gods have been struggling with 
the preat ^^^ Other for suprcmacy, but the great good fortune of 
tntu ''He this couutry and of the world was that there came out in 
fsagfsde- the midst of the din and confusion a voice which declared 
^arfom Ekum sat vipra bahudha vadanti (''He is one, whom the 
tames," sagcs declared by various names"). It is not that Siva is 
superior to Vishnu, not that Vishnu is everything ard Siva 
is nothing, but it is the same one whom you call either 
Siva or Vishnu, or by a hundred other names. The names 
. ^ are different, but it is the same. The whole history of 

rr whoU India you may read in these few words. The whole his- 
"^^^' tory has been a repetition in massive language, with tre- 
mendous power, of that one central doctrine. It was re- 
peated in the land till it had entered into the blood of the 
nation, till it began to tingle with every drop of blood 
that flowed in their veins, till it became one with the 
life, part and parcel of the material of whit.h they were 
composed, and thus the land was transmuted into the 
most wonderful land of toleration, giving the right to wel- 
come the various religions as well as all sects into the old 
mother country. 

And herein is the explanation of the most remarkable 
'foonderfui phenomenon that is only witnessed here, of all the various 
okration sccts, apparently hopelessly contradictory, yet living in 
such harmony. You may be a dualist, and I may be a 
monist. You may believe that you are the eternal ser- 
viant of God, and another may declare that he is one with 
God, himself, yet both of them are good Hindus. How is 
that possible ? Read then — Ekam sat vtpra bahudha 
vadanti (That which exists is one ; the sag^s call it 


by various names). Above all others, my countrymen, 
this is the one grand tiuth that we have to teach to the 
world. Even the most educated of the other countries 
tuck up their noses at an angle of 45 degrees and call our 
religion idolatry. I have seen that, and they never stop- 
ped to think what a mass of superstition there was in their 
own heads. It is still so everywhere, this tremendous 
sectarianism, low narrowness of the mind. The thing 
which a man has is the only thing worth having ; the only 
life worth living is his own little life of dollar-worship and 
mammon-worship ; the only little possession worth having 
is his own, and nothing else. If he can manufacture a 
little clay nonsense or invent a machine, that is to be ad- 
mired beyond the greatest possessions. That is the case 
over the whole world, in spite of education and learning. 
But education has yet to be in the world, and civilisation 
—civilisation lias begun nowhere yet, ninety-nine decimal 
nine per cent of the human race are more or less savages 
now. We may read of these things in different books, we 
hear of toleration in religion- and all that, but very little is 
there yet in the world, take my experience for that ; 
ninety-nine per cent do not even think of it. There is 
tremendous religious persecution yet, in every country in 
which I have been, and the same old objections are raised 
s^ainst learning anything new. All the little toleration 
that is in the world, practically, all the Uttle sympathy 
that is in the world yet for religious thought, is here, in 
the land of the Aryas, and nowhere else. It is here that 
Indians come and build temples for Mohammedan^ and 
Christians ; nowhere else. If you go to other countries 
and ask Mohammedans, or people of other religions to 
build a temple for yon, see how they will help. They 
will instead try to break down your temple and you too, 
if they otn. This is one great lesson therefore that the 


world wants most, that the world has yet to learn from 
tf«t/^>»f- India, the idea, not only of toleration, but of sympathy. 

rthv for ail ^ ' • ' j r j 

reUgtons As has been said (see Siva Mahimjia Stotrd) — " different 
rivers, taking their start from different mountains, run- 
ning straight or crooked, and at last coming unto the ocean, 
so, Siva, all are coming unto thee/' Though they may 
take various road!* all are on the way. Some may run a 
little crooked, others may run straight, but at last, oh 
Lord, they will all come unto Thee. Then and then alone 
is your Bhakti and S!va complete, when you not only see 
Him in the Lingum, but you see Him everywhere. This 
is the sage, this is the lover of Hari, who sees Hari in every- 
thing and in everyone. If you are a real lover of Siva 
you must see Him in everything, and in everyone. You 
must see that every worship is given unto Him whatever 
may be the name or the form, that all knees bending to- 
wards the Kaballah. or kneeling in a Christian Church, 
or a Buddhist Temple, are kneeling unto Thee, whether 
they know it or not, whether they are conscious of it or 
not ; in whatever name or form they are offered, all these 
flowers are laid at Thy Feet, for Thou art the one Lord 
of all, the one Soul of all souls. He knows infinitely bet- 
ter what this world wants than you or L It is impossible 

varigty that all difference can cease ; it must exist ; without vari- 
ation life must cease. It is this clash, the differentiation 
of thought, that makes for light, for motion, for ever)-- 
thing. Differentiation infinitely contradictory must rema- 
in, but it is not necessary that we should hate each other 
therefore. It is not necessary therefore that we should 
fight each other. Therefore we have to learn the one 
central truth again, that was only preached here, from our 
motherland, and once more has to be preached from India. 
Why ? Because not only was it in our books, but it runs 
through every phase of our national literature, and it i5 in 



the national life. Here and here alone is it practiced 
every day, and any man whose eyes are open can see that 
it is ^actised here and here aloue. Thus we have to 
teach religion. There are other and higher lessons that Mission 
India can teach, but they are only for the learned. The 
one lesson oi mildness, gentleness, forbearance, toleration, 
sympathy, and brotherhood everyone — man, woman and 
child, learned or unlearned, without respect of race, or 
creed, or caste, may learn. "They call Thee by various 
names ; Thou art One." 

The following day (Sunday) was again spent in 
receiving visitors, until the evening, when the Swami paid 
a visit to the temple. The crowd which accompanied 
him was immense, and a most interesting characteristic 
of the evening was the repeated stopping of the carriage 
ia order that the Swami might receive gifts of fruit, that 
garlands of flowers might be placed round his neck and 
rose water sprinkled over him. It is a custom also, when 
an especially honoured guest is paying a visit to a house, 
to burn lights and display fruit on the threshold, and this 
was done at almost every Hindu dwelling which the pro- 
cession passed, particularly in Checku Street, the heart of 
the Tamil quarter of Colombo. At the temple the Swami 
was received with shouts of** Jai, Maha Dev" (Hail, great 
soul) and after a short converse with the priests and others 
who were assembled returned to his bungalow when he 
fomid a number of Brahmins with whom he conversed 
until half past two the following morning. On Monday 
the Swami gave a second lecture, to another large attend- 
ance, but as the main points of the discourse were inclu- 
ded in subsequent lectures a report is not given. 

On Tuesday morning, the 19th, the Swami left for 
Kandy by rail. It should be explained that his origin- 
al intention had been to take another steamer direct from 



Colombo to Madras, but on his arrival in Ceylon so man}^ 
telegrams poured in beseeching a visit to Southern Indian 
towns, if only in passing, that he was induced to alter hU 
plans, and to make the journey overland. At the Rail- 
way Station at Kandy, the celebrated hill resort of Ceylon, 
a large crowd again awaited him with a native band and 
the temple insignia, to convey him in procession to a bun- 
galow in w^hich he was to take rest. When the cheering 
which greeted his arrival had subsided an address of wel- 
come was read, of which the text follows : — 


Keverkd Sirt, 

On behalf of the Hindu community we beg to offer jou s 
A'fdress of very hearty welcome to Kandy and express our sincere hope that 
of Kandy your visit to our mountain capital will be as pleasant to you as it 
is bound to be profitable to us. 

We cannot allow this 'occasion to pass without giving 
expression to the sentiments of esteem and admiration, which 
vour sins:) e- hearted devotion to the (•jiiise of truth and tbef 
brilliant ability with which you have expounded its principles m 
lands other than India, have made us entertain towards you. 

Since your first vi»it to America as the Kepresentative of 
our Faith at the Parliament of Keligions, we have watched your 
missionary career with the keenest interecit, and it is with feelings 
of deep thankfulness that we hear of the unexpectedly large 
measure of success that has attended it in the Western World. 
The seeds of Eternal Truth which you and your fellow-workers 
are sowing with such self-denying perseverance are destined to 
yield a rich harvest of Spiritual progress in the near future. That 
you may be long spared in health and strength to continue and 
consumnvate the labour of love you have undertaken is the fervent 
prayer of your humble co-religionists. 

Kayidif, Jamj. 19ih, 1897. (SignodI). 



The reply was again brief, and after a few hours' rest, 
during which the interesting points of the beautiful town 
were visited, the journey was resumed, and Matale reach- 
ed the same evening. On Wednesday morning the 
Swami began a coach-ride of 200 miles, through a country 
the beauty of whose vegetation has placed it among the 
brightest spots in the world, to Jaffna. Unfortunately, 
when some few miles beyond Dambool, a mishap occurred, 
one of the four wheels of the coach giving way, and neces- 
sitating a stoppage of three hours on the roadside. Then, 
however, progress was made, but this time slowly, by 
bullock cart, through Kanahari and Tinpani to Anuradha- 
pura. Anuradhapura is one of the oldest remaining towns 
in the world, and contains ruins which point to the fact 
that in its day, 2000 years ago, it was one of the largest 
cities the world has seen. There are many deeply inter- 
esting Buddhistic relics, including a sacred Bo-tree, (a 
shoot of the Maha Bodi Tree at Buddha Gaya), an ancient 
tank speaking eloquently of the engineering genius of 
that age and monuments known as Dagobas in which it 
is believed from discoveries which have been made, that 
huge quantities of jewelry and valuable property formerly 
belonging to Buddhist temples lie concealed from the time 
of the Tamil invasion of Ceylon. Under the shade of the 
tree we have mentioned, the Swami gave a short address 
to a crowd of two or three thousand people, interpreters 
translating as he proceeded into Tamil and Cingalese. Its 
subject was " worship ", and he exorted his hearers to give 
practical effect to the teachings of the Vedas, rather than 
pay all attention to mere empty worship. He also 
spoke of the universality of religion, and, in this stronghold 
of Buddhism, tuged that the God worshipped either as 
Siva, as Vishnu, as Buddha, or under any other name was 
one and the same, thus showing the necessity for not only 


tolerance but sympathy between followers of different 

From Anuradhapura to Jaffna is a distance of 120 
miles, and as the roads and the horses were equally de- 
fective the journey was troublesome, saved only from 
tediousness by the exceeding beauty of the surrovmdings. 
Indeed two successive nights, sleep was lost. On the way, 
however, a welcome interposition was caused by the 
reception of the Swami with all honour at Vavoniya, and 
the presentation of the following address : — 

To His Reverence SwAMi Vivekananda, 

Apostle Representative 0/ Hinduism 
in the Parliament of Religions : — 

Worshipful Sawmi: — We the inhabitants of Varoniyo, a dis- 
le Hindus trict in the Northern Province of the Island of Ceylon, beg to 
Vavontya g^yj^jj qJ-' j^^jg opportunity to approach you with a welcome in our 
midst. We never expected,, although we knew of your return 
from Europe, that you would favour ls (ignorant souls) with a 
visit in this distant part of the island, but by the consideration 
you have shown us you have greatly elevated us, and it is not 
flattery to say that you have laid us under an eternal debt of 

About the services that have been rendered by you in the 
cause of our religion it were prudent to hold a discreet silence, but 
we cannot help mentioning that we have observed with pride and 
admiration your unswerving devotion in furthering a cause so 
noble. What endeared you to us most and won our hearts for 
you was that kindness of disposition, liberality of sentiments, and 
disinterested self-sacrifice which you have taught us both by pre- 
cept and example. 

Do accept for all that you have done on our behalf our thanks 
as a poor token of the regard and esteem we all entertain for you. 
That you may long be spared in health and that your efforts may 


prosper more and more is the fervent prayer of our humble sekea. 

We beg to remain, 
Most Beverend Svvami, 
Your obedient pupils. 

When the Swami had briefly replied the journey was 
resumed through the beautiful Ceylon jungles to Jaffna. 
There was a reception of an informal character early the 
following morning at Elephant Pass, where a bridge con- 
nects Ceylon with the Island of Jaffna, and twelve miles 
from the town of the latter name the Swami was met by 
many of the leading Uindu citizens, and a procession of 
carriages accompanied him for the remainder of the dis- 
tance. It seemed as if every street in the town were de- 
corated, nay, every house, and the scene when, in the 
evening, the Swami was driven in torch light procession to 
a large pandal erected at the Hindu College was most 
impressive. All along the route there was great enthusi- 
asm, and there must have been from ten to fifteen thousand 
people accompanying him. At the Pandal the following ^jll^^J^ 
address was read : — Afi^ 


Betbbsd Sia, 

We, the inhabitants of Jaffna professing the Hindu religion, 
desire to offer yoo a most hearty welcome to our land, the chief 
centre of Hinduism in Cejlon, and to express our thankfulness 
for your kind acceptance of our invitation to visit this part of 

OuB ancestors settled here from Southern India, more than 
two thousand years ago, and brought with them their religion, 
which was patronized by the Tamil kings of Jaffna ; but when 
their government was displaced by that of the Portuguese and 
the Dutch, the observance of religious rites was interfered with, 
public religious worship was prohibited, and the Sacred * Temples 


including two of the most far-famed Shrines, were razed to the 
ground by the cruel hand of persecution. In spite of the persist- 
ent attempts of these nations to force upon our forefathers the 
Christian religion, they clung to their old faith firmly, and have 
transmitted it to us as the noblest of our heritages. Now, under 
the rule of (Ireat Britain, not only has there been a great and 
intelligent revival, but the sacred edifices have been, and are 
being, restored. 

Wb take this opportunity to express our deep-felt gratitude 
for your noble and disinterested labours in the cause of our 
religion in carrying the light of truth, as revealed in the Vedasf 
to the Parliament Eeligions, in disseminating the truths of the 
Divine Philosophy of India in America and England, and in mak- 
ing the Western world acquainted with the truths of Hinduism 
and thereby bringing the West in closer touch with the East. 
We also express our thankfulness to you for initiating a move- 
ment for the revival of our ancient religion in this materialistic 
age, when there is a decadence of faith and a disregard for search 
after spiritual truth. 

Wb cannot adequately express our indebtedness to you for 
making the people of the West know the catholicity of our 
religion, and for impressing upon the minds of the Savants of the 
West the truth that there are more things in the Philosophy o£ 
the Hindus than are dreamt of in the Philosophy of the West. 

Wb need hardly assure you that we have been carefully 
watching the progress of your Mission in the West, and always 
heartily rejoicing at your devotedness and successful labours in 
the field of religion. The appreciative references made by the 
press, in the great centres of intellectual activity, moral growth, 
and religious inquiry in the West, to you and to your valuable 
contributions to our religious literature, bear eloquent testimony 
to your noble and magnificent efforts. 

We beg to express our heart-felt gratification at your visit to 
our land and to hope that we, who, in common with you, look to 
the Vedus as the foundation of all true spiritual knowledge may 
have many more occasions of seeing you in our midst. 


May God, who has liitherto crowned your nobld \f oik with 
conspicuous success spare you long, giving you vigour and strength 
to continue your noble Mission. 

We remain, Revered Sir^ 
Tours faithfully, 
for and on behalf of the Hindus of Jaffna. 

An eloquent reply was given, and on the following 
evening (Sunday) the Swami lectured in the same Pandal 
on Vedantism, a report is appended : — 

The subject is very large and the time is short ; a full 
analysis of the religion of the Hindus is impossible in one 
lecture. 1 will, therefore, present before you the salient 
points of our religion in as simple language as I can. The 
word Hindu, by which it is the fashion now-a-days to style 
ourselves, has lost all its meaning, for this word merely 
means those who lived on the other side of the river Indus. 
This name, Sanskrit Sindhu, was murdered into Hindu by 
the ancient Persians, and all people living on the other 
side of the river Sindhu were called by them Hindus. 
Thus this word has come down to us ; during the Moham- 
medan rule we took up the word ourselves. There may 
not be any harm in using the word, of course, but, as I 
have said, it has lost its significance, for all the people who 
live on this side of the Indus, you may mark in modern 
times, do not follow the same religion as they did in 
ancient times. The word, therefore, covers not only 
Hindus proper, but Mohammedans, Christians, Jains, and 
all the others who live in India. I, therefore, would not 
use the word Hindu. What word should we use then ? 
The other words which alone w^e can use are either the 
Veidiks, followers of the Vedas, or better still the Vedan- 
tists, followers of the Vedanta. Most of the great religions 
of the world owe allegiance to certain books, which they 

TAe ftfori 

The Sacri 
"Books oft 


believe are the words of God, or some other supernatural 
beings, and which are the basis of their religion. Now of 
all these books, according to the modern Savants of the 
West, the oldest are the Vedas of the Hindus. A little idea, 
therefore, is necessary about the Vedas. 
rhe Ved s ^^^^ mass of writing called the Vedas is not the deli- 

very of persons. Its date has never been fixed, can never 
be fixed, and, according to us, the Vedas are eternal. 
There is one salient point which I want you to remember, 
that all the other rehgions of the world claim their autho- 
rity as being delivered by a personal God or a number of 
personal beings, angels, or special messengers of God, unto 
certain persons, while the claim of the Hindus is that the 
Vedas do not owe their authority to anybody, they are 
themselves the authority, being eternal — the knowledge of 
God. They were never written, never created, they have 
been throughout time ; just as creation is infinite and eter- 
nal, without beginning and without end, so is the know- 
ledge of God without beginning and without end. And 
this knowledge is what is meant by the Vedas ( Vid to 
know). The mass of knowledge called the Vedanta was dis- 
covered by personages called Rishis, and the Rishi is de- 
fined as a Mantra Drashta, a seer of thought ; not that 
the thought was his own. Whenever you hear that a cer- 
tain passage of the Vedas came from a certain Rishi, never 
think that he wrote it, or created it out of his mind ; he 
was the seer of the thought which already existed ; it ex- 
isted in the universe eternally. This sage was the dis- 
coverer ; the Rishis were spiritual discoverers. 

This mass of writing, the Vedas, is divided principally 
into two parts, the Karma Kanda and the Gnana Kanda 
— the work portion and the knowledge portion, the cere- 
monial and the spiritual. The work portion consists of 
various sacrifices ; most of them of late have been given 


up as not practicable under present circumstances ; some 
remain to the present day in some shape or other. The 
main ideas of the Karma Kanda, the duties of man, the 
duties of the student, of the householder, of the recluse, 
and so forth, the duties of various stations, are followed, 
more or less, down to the present day. But the spiritual 
portion of our religion is in the second part, the Gnana OnaM Ra 
Kanda^\}Mt Vedanta, the end of the Vedas, the gist, the 
goal of the Vedas, The essence of the knowledge of the 
Vedas was called by the name of Vedanta, the Upani- 
shads ; and all the sects of India, either Dualists, qualified 
Dualists, Monists, or the Sivites, Vaisnavites, Saktas, 
Souras, Ganapatis — if there is any sect in India which 
dares to come within the fold of Hinduism it must acknow- 
ledge the Upanishads of the Vedas. They can have their 
own interpretations, can interpret them in their own way, 
but they must obey the authority. That is why we want 
to use the word Vedantist instead of Hindu. All the philo- 
sophers of India who are orthodox have to acknowledge 
the authority of the Vedanta, and all our present day reli- 
gions, however crude some of them may appear, however 
inexplicable some of their purposes may appear to be, one 
who understands them, studies them, can trace back to the 
ideas of the Upanishads. So much these Upanishads have 
gone into our race that those of you who study the sym- 
bology of the crudest religion of the Hindus will be astoni- 
shed to find sometimes figurative expressions of the Upani- 
shads — the Upanishads become symbolized after a time 
into figures and so forth ^ Great spiritual and philosophi- 
cal ideas in the Upanishads are to-day with us household 
worship in the form of symbols. Thus the various sym- 
bols used all come from the Vedanta because in the Ved- 
anta they are used as figures, and these ideas went among 
the pation and percolated it throughout until they became 




part of their everyday life as symbols. 

Next to the Vedanta come the Smritis. These also 
are books written by sages, but the authority of the Smritis 
is subordinate to that of the Vedanta, because they 
stand in the same relation with us as the Scriptures of 
the other religions stand with regard to them. We admit 
that the Smritis have been written by particular sages ; in 
that sense they are the same as the Scriptures of other 
religions, but these Smritis are not final authority. If 
there is anything in a Smriti which contradicts the 
Vedanta the Smriti is to be rejected ; its authority is gone. 
These Smritis, we see again, have varied from time to time. 
We read that such and such Smriti should have authority 
in the Satya Yuga, such and such in the Treia Yuga, 
some in the Dwapara Yuga, and some in the Kali Yuga, 
and so on, so that as essential conditions changed, as vari- 
ous circumstances came to have their influence on the race, 
manners and customs had to be changed, and these Smritis, 
as mainly regulating the manners and customs of the na- 
tion, had also to be changed from time to time. This is a j 
point I specially ask you to remember. ITie principles of ] 
religion that are in the Vedanta are unchangeable. Why ? 
Because they are all built upon the eternal principles that 
are in man and nature ; they can never change. Ideas 
about the soul, going to heaven, and so on, can never 
ijhange ; they were the same thousands of years ago, they 
are the same today, they will be the same millions of years 
*to come. But those religious practices which are based 
.entirely upon our social position and co-relation must 
change with the changes in society. Such an order, there- 
fore, would be good and true at a certain period and not 
.at another period. We find accordingly that certain food 
should be allowed at one time and stopped at another, be- 
^cause the food was for that time ; but climatic and other 


thiHgB change, various other cricmstances require to be 
met, so the Smriti stopped the food and so on. Thus it 
natorally follows that if in modern times our society requi- 
res some changes they must be met, and sages will come 
and show the way how to meet them ; not one jot of the 
principles of our religion will be changed ; they will remain 

There are then the Puranas (Puratiam Panchalaksha- ^uranas 
nam) about history, about cosmology, with various sym- 
bological illustration of philosophical principles and so 
forth. These were written to popularize the religion of the 
Vedas. The language in which the Vedas are written is 
very ancient : even among scholars very few can trace the 
date of these books. The Puranas were written in the 
language of the people of that time, what we call modem 
Sanskrit. Then they were meant, not for scholars, but for 
the ordinary people ; and ordinary people cannot under- 
stand philosophy. Such things were given unto them in 
concrete form by means of the lives of saints and kings 
and great men, historical events that happened to the race, 
and so on. Ever3rthing that the sages could get hold of 
was taken up, but every one of them only to illustrate the 
eternal principles of religion. 

There are still other books, the Tantras. These are Tantras 
very much like the Puranas in some respects, and in some 
of them there is an attempt to revive the old sacrificial 
ideas of the Karma Kanda. 

All these constitute the Scriptures of the Hindus, 
and if there is such a mass of sacred books in a 
nation and in a race,, which, (nobody knows for how 
many thousands of years) has devoted the greatest 
part of its energies to the thought of philosophy and 
spirituality, it is quite natural there should be so 
many sects ; it is a wonder there are not thousands 


more. And these sects v§ry much differ from each other 
in certain points. We should not have time to understand 

/?/W«/j/« ^^® differences between these sects, and all the spiritual 
details about them ; therefore I take up the common 
ground, the principles of all these sects, which every Hindu 
must believe. 

The first is the question of the creation, that this 
Nature, Prakrili, Maya, is infinite, without beginning. It 
Creation is not that this world was created the other day, not that 
a God came and created the world, and since that time has 
been sleeping ; that cannot be. The creative energy is 
still going on. God is eternally creating — never at rest. 
Remember the passage in the Gita where Vishnu says: 
*^ If I remain at rest for one moment this universe will be 
destroyed." If that creative energy which is working all 
around us, day and night, stops a second the whole thing 
falls to the ground. There never was a time when that 
energy did not work throughout the universe, but there is 
the law of cycles, Pralaya, Our Sanskrit word for crea- 
tion properly translated, should Le projection and not crea- 

P ojection, Hon, For the word creation m the Enghsh language has un- 
happily got that fearful, that most crude idea of something 
coming out of nothing, creation out of non-entity, non-ex- 
istence becoming existence, which, of course, I would not 
insult you by asking you to believe. Our word, therefore, 
is projection. The whole of this Nature existed, it becomes 
finer, subsides, then after a period of rest, as it were, the 
whole thing is projected forward, and the same combina- 
tion, the same evolution, the same manifestations appear, 
and remain playing, as it were, for a certain time, again to 
break into pieces, to become finer and finer, till the whole 
thing subsides and again comes out. Thus it is going on 
backward and forward, with a wave-like motion through 
eternity. Time and space and all are within this 


imture. To say/ therefore^ it had a beginning is utter non- 
sense. No such question can occur as of its beginnings 
and of its end. Therefore; wherever in our Scriptures the 
words beginning and end are used, you must remember 
that it means the beginning and the end of one particular 
c>xle ; no more than that. 

What makes this creation : God. What do I mean 
by the use of the English word God ? Certainly not the of Goa 
ordinary use of the word in English ; a good deal of diff- 
erence. There is no other word in English. I would 
rather confine myself to the Sanskrit word Brahman. 
He is the general cause of all these manifestations. 
What is this Brahman ? He is eternal, eternally pure, 
eternally awake, tlie almighty, the all-knowing, the all- 
merdful, the omnipresent, the formless, the partless. 
He creates this universe. If he is always creating and 
holding up this uinverse two difficulties arise. There is 
partiality in the universe. One is bom happy, and an- 
other unhappy ; one is rich and another is poor ; this pifferiucef 
is partiality. Then there is cruelty also, for here tionofufei 
the very condition of life is death. One animal tears ' *^*^ 
the other to pieces, each man tries to trample on the 
body of his own brother. This competition, cruelty, 
horror, sighs rending the skies day and night, is 
the state of things in this world of ours. If this be the 
creation of a God that God is worse than cruel, worse 
than any devil that man ever imagined. Ayl says the 
Vedanta, it is not the fault of God that this partiality 
exists, that this competition exists. Who makes it ? We 
ourselves. There ia a cloud throwing its rains on all fields 
alike. Only that field which is well cultivated gets the 
advantage of the shower, another, which has not been 
tilled or taken care of, cannot get that advantage. It is 
not the fault of the cloud. His mercy is eternal and 


unchangeable ; it is we that make the differentiation. But 

how can this difference be explained ? Some are bom here 

^acthnil ^^PPy> ^ome are bom unhappy. They do nothing to make 

evioui ttfe that difference I They do— in their last birth, the birth 

before this. 

We therefore come to the second principle on which 
Life is ^^ ^1 agree; not only all Hindus, but all fiuddhists, and 
Ettrnai ^\ Jains. We all agree here that life is also eternal. It is 
not that it has sprung out of nothing ; that cannot be. 
Such a life would not be worth having. Everything that 
has beginning in time must end in time. If life began but 
yesterday it must end to-morrow, and annihilation is the 
result. Life must have been existing. It does not require 
much in modem times to see that, for all the sciences of 
modern times have been coming round to our help, illus- 
trating from the material world the principles embodied in 
our Scriptures. You know it already, that each one of us 
is the effect of the infinite past, the child is ushered into 
the world, not as something flashing from the hands of 
nature, as poets delight so much to depict, but that the 
child has the burden of an infinite past, for good or evil 
he comes to work out his own past deeds, and we know 
that he does so. That makes the differentiation. This 
^heUw of jg the law of Karma. Each one of us is the maker of his 


own fate. It knocks on the head at once all doctrines of 

predestination and fate, and it gives us the only reconcilia-* 

Man makes ^^^^ between God and man. We, we, and none else, are 

hts own ' ' ' 

tstinyy^od responsible for what we suffer. We are the effects, and 
we are the causes. We are free therefore. If I am un- 
happy, it has been my own making and that very thing 
shows that I can be happy if I will. If I am impure, that 
is also my making, and that very thing shows that I can 
be pure if I will. So on. Tlie human will stands beyond 
all circumstances. Before it all the powers, even of 

or Ai</ 


nature, must bow down, succumbi and become its servant?, Hetui th£ 
the strong gigantic, infinite will and freedom in man. \ strong. 
Ibis is the result. ^5^;^' ^ 

The next question, of course, naturally would be 
what is the soul ? We cannot understand God in our ^^^P^Xt^ 
Scriptures without knowing the soul. There have been 
attempts in India, and outside of India, to catch a glimpse 
of the beyond by studying the external nature, and we all 
know what an awful failure has been the result. Instead 
of giving us a glimpse of the beyond, the more we study 
the material world the more we tend to become materia^ 
lized. Even that little spirituality which we possessed 
before vanishes the more we handle the material world. 
So that, therefore, is not the way to spirituality, to know- 
ledge of the highest, but through the heart, the human 
souL The external workings do not teach us anything: 
about the beyond, about the infinite, it is only the fnteT'^ 
naL Through soul, therefore, the analysis of tiie human 
soul alone, can we understand God. We have difference ^ , ^ .. . 
of opmion as to the nature of the human soul among the eurnai 
various sect* in India, but there are certain points wliere 
we all s^ree, that these souls are without begimriug and 
without end, immortal by their very nature ; secondly, that 
all the powers, blessing, purity, omnipresence, omniscience p^^ ^ p^^^ 
are buried in each soul. That is a grand idea we ought to fi^^<^fn»^ 
fCTiember. However weak or wicked, great or small, in 
man and in animal, resides the same omnipresent, omni« 
sdent soul. The difference is not in the soul, but in the Differences 
manifestation. Between me and the smallest animal, the ^^*|J^^ 
d^erence is only of manifestation, but as a principle he is dfferemes h 
the same as I am, he is my brother, he has the same soul as iatum ^ 
I have. This is the greatest principle that India has preadi- 
ei The talk of brotherhood of man becomes in India 
brotherhood of universal life, of animals, of all life down sf 0H lifi 


to the little ants, all are our bodies. Evam tu panditao 
jnatva sarvabhttta-mayatn Harim &c, " Thus the sage, 
knowing that the same Lord inhabits all bodies, will 
worship every body as such." That is why in India there 
have been such merciful ideas about animals, about the 
poor, and about everybody and everything else. This is 
one of the common grounds about our ideas of the soul. 
Aiman & Naturally we come to the idea of God. One thing 

'^i^AeJ^' "^^^® about the soul. Those vrho study the English lan- 
guage are often deluded by the words soul and mind. 
Our i4/;wa« and)soul are ent!i*ely different things. What 
we call Mafias, the mind,' they call soul. The West never 
had the idea of soul until the last twenty years, through 
Sanskrit Philosophy. That is to say, the body is here,, 
beyond that the mind, yet the mind is not the Atman ; 
it is the Sukshma Sarira, the fine body, made of fine 
particles, which goes from birth to death, and so on, but 
behind the mind is the Aiman, the Soul, the Self of man. 
It cannot be translated by the word Soul or Mind, so we 
have to use the word Aiman, or, as Western philosophers 
have attempted of late, the word Self. Whatever the 
word you use, you must keep clear in your mind, that 
the Aiman is separate from the mind, as well as from the 
body, and that this Aiman is going from birth to deaths 
accompanied by the mind — the Siikshma Sarira. And 
when the time comes that it has attained to all know- 
ledge, and manifested itself in perfection, then this going 
from birth to death ceases for it. Then it is at liberty 
either to keep that mind, or the Sukshma or to let it go 
for ever, and remain independent and free through all 
'^^^A^dJ^ eternity. The goal of the soul is freedom. That is no 
peculiarity of our religion. We also have heavens, and 
some hells too, but these are not infinite, for in the very 
nature of things they canijot be. If there were any 

heavens, they would be only repetitions of this world of 
ours on a bigger scale, a little more happiness, a little more 
enjoyment, and all the worse for it. There are many of 
these heavens. Persons who do good works here with the 
thought of reward, when they die are born again as gods 
in one of these heavens, as Indrasand so on. These gods 
are the names of certain states. They also have been 
men, and by good work they have become gods, and 
those different names that you read, as Indra, and 
so on, are not the names of the same person. There 
will be thousands of Indras. Nahusha was a great king,. 
and when he died he became Indra. It is position ; one 
soul becomes high and takes the Indra position, and re- 
mains only a certain time, then dies there, and is born 
again as man. But the human body is the highest of all. 
Some of the gods may try to go higher and give up all 
ideas of enjoyments in heavens, but, as in this world 
wealth and positions and enjoyments delude the vast 
majority, so most of the gods become deluded also, and 
after working out their good Karma they fall back and 
become human beings again. This earth, therefore, is the 
Karma Bhtimi ; it is this earth from which we attain to 
liberation. So even these heavens are not worth having. 
What is then worth having ? Mnkti, freedom. Even in ^/«>fc 
the highest of heavens, says our Scripture, you are a slave ; 
what matters it if you are a king for twenty thousand years ? 
So long as you have a body, so long as you are a slave to 
happiness, so long as time works on you, space works on 
you, you are a slave. The idea, therefore, is to be free of 
external and internal nature. Nature must stand at 5'our 
feet, and you must trample on it, free, glorious, going be- 
yond. No more there is life ; therefore, no more death ; 
no more enjoyment, therefore, no more misery. It is bliss 
beyond everything, unspeakable, indestructible. What we 



call happiness and good here are but particles of that 
eternal Bliss. This is the goal. 
u)i4i is sex- The soul is also sexless ; we cannot say of the Atman 


that it is a man or a woman. That belongs to the body 
alone. All such ideas, therefore, as man or woman are 
a delusion when spoken with regard to the Self, and are 
only proper when spoken of the body. So are the ideas 
r,ever ages ^j- ^g^^ j^. ^iQyQx agcs ; the ancicnt One is always the same. 

How did it come down ? There is but one answer 
in our Scriptures. Ignorance is the cause of all this 
bondage. It is through ignorance that we have become 
bound ; knowledge will cure it, take us to the other side. 
How will that knowledge come ? Tlirough love, Bhahlu 
By the worship of God, by loving all beings as the 
temples of God ; He resides there. Thus with that in* 
tense love will come knowledge, and ignorance will disap- 
pear, the bonds will break, and the soul will be free* 

''wo ideas of There are two ideas of God in our Saiptures, the one the 
God;— personal, the other the impersonal. The idea of the Per- 

Personal, soual God is that He is the omnipresent creator, perserver, 
and destroyer ofever3'^thing, the eternal father and mother 
of the universe, but one who is eternally separate from us 
and from all souls ; and liberation consists in coming near 
unto Him and and living in Him. There is the other idea 
vaL of the Impersonal, where all those adjectives are taken off 
as superfluous, as illogical, and the idea is preached of an 
impersonal, omnipresent being, who cannot be called a 
knowing being, because knowledge only belongs to the 
human mind. He cannot be called a thinking being, be- 
cause that is a process of the weak. He cannot be called 
a reasoning being, because reasoning is a sign of weakness. 
He cannot be called a creating being, because none creates 
except in bondage. What bondage has He ? None works 
except for the fulfilment of desires ; what desires has He ? 


None works except it is to supply some'wants ; what 
wants has He ? In the Vedas it is not the word '^ He " 
that is used ; but " It, " for " He " would make an invid- 
ious distinction, as if He were a man. " It" the imper- 
sonal, is used, and this Impersonal *' It" is preached. It 
is called the Advaita system. 

And what are our relations with this Impersonal be- twm with 
ing ? That we are He. We and He are one. Every one ^^^J'ood 
is but a manifestation of that Impersonal, the basis of all 
being, and misery consists in thinking of ourselves as diff- 
erent from this Infinite, Impersonal being ; and liberation 
consists in knowing our unity with this wonderful Imper- 
sonality. These, in short, are the two ideas of God that 
we find in our Scriptures. Some remarks ought to be /y^ ,-/^^ 
made here, that it is only through the idea of the Imper- ^^^f]^^^' 
sonal God that you can have any system of ethics. In bci%is of 
every nation the truth has been preached from the most 
ancient times — love your fellow beings as yourselves — I 
mean love human beings as yourselves. In India it has 
been preached, ' love all beings as yourselves' ; we make 
no distinction between men and animals. But no reason 
was forthcoming, no one knew why it would be good to 
love other beings as ourselves. And the why is there ; it 
is there, in the idea of the Impersonal God, that you un- 
derstand it — when you learn that the whole world is one 
-—the oneness of the universe — the solidarity of all life, — 
that in hurting any one I am hurting myself, in loving any 
one I am loving myself. Hence we understand why it is 
that we ought not to hurt others. The reason for ethic?, 
therefore, can only be had from this ideal of the Imper- 
sonal God. There are some other great questions in it. 
I understand the wonderful flow of love that comes from pJ.J„Ji 
the idea of a Personal God, I thoroughly appreciate the po- (^odenge. 
wer of Bhakti on men in different times requiring different Bhaku 

sorts of power. What we want now in our country^ how- 
ever, is not so much of weeping, but a little strength, 
/w wanu What a mine of strength is in this Imper.^nal God, when 
tcA as all superstitions have been thrown overboard, and man 
^^^ stands on his feet with the knowledge that I am the Ira- 

personal Being of the world. What can make me afraid ? 
I care not for even nature's laws. Death is a joke unto 
me. Man stands on the glory of his own Soul, the infinite, 
the Eternal, the Deathless — that Soul which no instruments 
can pierce, which no heat can dry, or fire burn, no water 
melt, the infinite, the birthless, the deathless, without be- 
ginning and without end, before whose magnitude the suns 
and moons and all their systems appear like drops in the 
ocean, before whose glory space crumbles up into nothing- 
ness, and time vanishes into non-existence* This glorious 
Soul we must believe in. Out of that will come power. 
Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think your- 
selves weak, weak you wiH be, if you think yourselves 
strong, strong you will be, if you think yourselves impure, 
impure you will be, if you think yourselves pure, pure you 
will be. This teaches us not to think yourselves as weak, 
but as strong, omnipotent, omniscient. No matter that I 
have not expressed it yet ; it is in me. All knowledge is 
in me, and all power, and all purity, and all freedom. Why 
cannot I express it ? Because I do not believe in it. Let 
me believe in it and it will come out, must. This is what 
fytkiim' the idea of the Impersonal teaches. Make your children 
Zgofthi strong from their very childhood, teach them not weak- 
vaitinwiii j^^gg j^qj. forms, but make them strong, let them stand on 

? tms ' 

^gth, their feet, bold, all-conquering, all-suffering, and first let 

' ^^^'^* them learn of the glory of the soul. That you get alone 

in the Vedanta ; there alone. It has ideas of love and 

•v\x>rship and other things which we have in other religions, 

and plenty of them too ; but this is the hfe giving thought. 


llie most wonderful. There, there alone, is the great 
thought that is going to revolutionize the world and recon- 
cile the knowledge of the material world with religion. 

Thus I have tried to bring before you the salient po- p'j^^ 
ints of our religion— the principles. I have only to say a 
few words about the practice and the application. As we 
have teen, under the circumstances existing in India so 
many sects naturally must appear. As a fact we find that 
there are so many secU, and at the same time we find 
there is this mysterious fact in India, that these sects do 
not quarrel with each other. The Sivite does not say that 
every Vaishnavite is going to be damned nor the Vaishnavite 
that every Sivite will be damned. The Sivite says, this is 
my path, and you have yours ; at the end we must come 
together. They all know that in India. This is the the- 
ory of Ishtam. It has been recognised in the most ancient 
times that there may be various forms of worshipping God. 
It is also recognized that different constitutions require 
different methods. What is your method of coming to 
God may not be my method, possibly may hurt me alto- 
gether. Such an idea as that there is one way for every- 
body is injurious, meaningless, and utterly to be avoided. 
Woe unto the world when everyone is of the same reli- 
gious opinion and takes to the same path. Then all reli- Theory 
gion and all thought will be destroyed. This variety is the ^^^^''^ 
very soul of life. When it dies out entirely creation will 
die. When this variation in thought is kept up we must 
exist ; and we need not quarrel because of that variety. 
Your way is very good for you, but not for me. My way 
is good for me but not for you. My way is called in 
Sanskrit my Ishiam. Mind you, we have no quarrel with 
any religion in the world. We have each our Ishtam. 
But when we see men coming and saying " this is the only 
way/' and trying in India to force it on us we have a word 


to say ; we laugh at them. For such to talk of love is 
absurd — those that want to destroy their brothers because 
they seem to follow a different path towards God. Their 
love does not count for much. What, preach they of love 
who cannot bear another man following a different path 
from their own? If that is love, what is hatred? We 
have no quarrel with any religion in the world, whether 
they worship Christ, or Buddha or Mahomet, or any pro- 
phet in the world. '^ Welcome, my brother, " the Hindu 
says, " I am going to help you ; but you allow me to 
follow my way too. That is my Ishta?n. Your way is 
very good, no doubt, but it may be dangerous for me. 
My own experience tells me what food is good for me, 
and no army of doctors can tell me that. So I know 
from my own experience what path is the best for me. " 
That is the goal, the Ishtam, and therefore we say that if 
a temple, or a symbol, or an image, helps you to realise 
the Divinity within, you are welcome. Have two hun- 
dred images. If certain forms and formularies help you to 
realise the divine, God speed you ; have, by all means, 
w^hatever forms, and whatever temples,and whatever cere- 
monies, bring you nearer to God. But do not quarrel ab- 
out them ; the moment you quarrel, you are not going 
Godward, you are going backward, towards the brutes. 

These are a few ideas in our religion. It is one of 
inclusion of every one, exclusion of none. Our castes and 
Hiutions our mstitutious, though apparently hnked with our reh- 
gioi''^^^'^ gion, are not so. These institutions have been necessary 
to protect us as a nation, and when this necessity for 
self-preservation w-ill be no more they will die their natur- 
al death. But, for the time being, the older I grow the better 
I seem to think of these time-honoured institutions of 
India. There was a time when I used to think. that many 
of them wxre useless and worthless, but the older I grow 


the more I seem to feel a diffidence in cursing any one of 
them, for each one of them is the embodiment of the ex- 
perience of centuries. A child of yesterday destined to die 
the day-after to-morrow comes to me, and asks me to 
change all my plans, and if I hear the advice of that baby 
and change all my surroundings according to his ideas, I 
myself would be the fool, and no one else. Such is much 
of the advice that is coming to us from different countries. 
Tell them, I will hear you when you have made a stable 
society yourselves. You cannot hold on to one idea for 
two days, 3'ou quarrel and fail, you are born like moths in 
the spring and die like them in five minutes. You come 
up like bubbles and burst like bubbles too. First form a 
stable society like ours. First make laws and institutions 
that remain undiminished in their power through scores of 
centuries. There will be time then to talk on the subject 
with you, but till then, my friend, you are only a giddy 

I have finished what I had to say about our religion. 

I will end by reminding you of the one pressing necessity Thegwin 
of the day. Praise Vyasa, the great author of the Maha- '^QiwilTi 
bharata, that in this Kali Yuga there is one great work, the kigha 
The Tapas and other hard yogas that were practised in 
other Yugas do not work now. What is needed in this 
Yuga is giving, helping others. What is meant by 
Ddnam ? The highest of gifts is the giving of spiritual 
knowledge, the next is the giving of secular knowledge, 
and the next is the saving of life. The last is giving food 
and drink. He who gives spiritual knowledge, saves the 
soul from many and many a birth. He who gives secular 
knowledge opens the eyes of human beings towards that 
spiritual knowledge, and below these come all other gifts, 
even the saving of life here. Therefore, it is necessary that 
you must learn this, and note that all other kinds of work 


are of much less value than this work. The highest and 
greatest help is that given in the dissemination of spiritual 
knowledge. There is an eternal fountain of spirituality in 
our Scriptures, and where on earth except in this land of 
renunciation do we find such noble examples of that practi- 
cal spirituality. I have had a little experience of the 
world. Believe me, there are great talks in other lands, 
but the practical man of rehgion, who has carried it into 
his life, is here and heie alone. Talking is not religion, 
parrots may talk, machines may talk now-a-days. But 
show me the life of renunciation, of spirituality, of all- 
suffering, of love infinite. Then you are a spiritual man. 
Well then, with such ideas and such noble practical exam- 
ples in our country it would be a great pity if all the trea- 
sures in our brains, and in the hearts of all these great 
Yogins did not come out and become the property of every 
one, rich and poor, high and low ; not only here, but it 
muit be thrown broadcast all over the world. This is one 
of the greatest duties, and you will find that the more you 
w^ork to help others the more you help yourselves. This is 
mce our the one great duty on you if you really la\^e your rehgion, if 
^givl^iothe y^^ really love your country — that you must struggle hard 
ridthespi' to be up and doing, with this one great idea of bringing 
•/« our * out the treasures from their closed books, and delivering 
tptures, them over to their rightful heirs. And above all, one thing 
is necessary. Aye, for ages we have been saturated with 
awful jealousy ; we are always getting jealous of each other. 
Why has this man a little precedence, and not I ; even in 
the worship of God we want precedence, to such a state 
^^ ^P of slavery have we come. This is to be avoided. If any 
sin is crying at this time in India it is this slavery. Every 
one wants to command and no one to obey. First learn^ 
to obey. The command will come by itself. Always 
learn to be a servant, and you will be a master. Am! it 


is owing to the absence of that wonderful Brahmachari 
system of yore. Avoid this jealousy, and you will do the 
great works that have yet to be done. Our ancestors did 
most wonderful works — we look back upon their work 
with veneration and with pride, but we also are going to 
work, and let others look back with blessings and with 
pride upon us as their ancestors. With the blessing of the 
Lord every one here will do such deeds that will eclipse 
those of our ancestors yet, great and glorious as they may 
have been. 




With his address at the Hindu Collie, at Jaffna, the 
journey across Ceylon came to a close, but it would be 
showing a lack of appreciation did this narrative fail ta 
place on record the warmth and unanimity with which 
the Swami was received, from Colombo to Jaffna. Tliis 
is the more remarkable not only on account of the inac- 
cessibility of much of the country, on account of lack of 
railway facihties to the centres from which information at 
what is gohig on in the world can be obtained, but because 
the Swami was hitherto quite unknown in Ceylon, and 
had not the advantage of being a native. But so great 
has been the impression made by his worii in America and 
England, and by his brief visit, that urgent requests have 
been made to him to send teachers, and we may with con- 
fidence look forward to a great future for the liberal teach- 
ings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa in the Island. May 
the blessing of God rest on all who have so shown their 
desire for light. 

Tlie lecture completed^ arrangements were at once 
made for tl\e short voyage of fifty miles to India. For 
this purpose a native brig was chartered,, and a start was 
made soon after midnight. Tlie weather was quite favor- 
able,, and the trip was accordingly of an exceedingly plea- 
sant nature. Pamban was reached shortly before noon, 
but the Swami did not land until the afternoon. Then he 
went ashore ia a small boat and was met at the jetty by 


His Highness the Raja of Ramnad, who evinced the deep 
pleasure he felt at meeting the Swami in the warmth of 
the welcome accorded him. Preparations had been made 
on the landing wharf for a formal reception, and here, un- 
der a pandal which was surrounded by decorations show- 
ing great taste, Mr. Nagalingam Pillai read the following 
address on behalf of the Pamban people. 

*'May it please Your Holiness* 

Address cf 

We greatly rejoice to welcome Tour Holiness with hearts full the people oj 
of deepest gratitude and highest veneration— gratitude for having -^^^^^ 
80 readily and graciously consented to pay us a flying visit in 
spice of , the numerous calls on you, and veneration for the many 
noble and excellent qualities that you possess and the great 
work you have so nobly undertaken to do which you have been 
discharging with conspicuous ability,, utmost zeal and earnestness. 

We truly rejoice to see that Your Holiness' efforts in sow* 
idg the seeds of Hindu philosophy on the cultured minds of the 
great Western nation, are being crowned with so much success 
that all round, \^e already see the bright and cheerful aspect o£ 
the bearing ol excellent fruits in ^reat abundance, and most 
humbly pray that Your Holiness will, during your sojourn in 
Arjiivartha, be graciously pleased to exert even a little more than 
what you did in the West to awaken the minds of your brethren 
in this our motherland, from the dreary life-long slumber and 
make them recall to their minds the long forgotten gospel of 

Our hearts are so full of sincerest affection, greatest reve- 
rence, and highest admiration towards Your Holiness — our great 
spiritual leader that we verily find it impossible to adequately ex* 
press our feelings and therefore beg to conclude with an earnest 
and united prayer to the merciful Providence to bless Four Holi- 
ness with long life of usefulness, and to grant you every thing 
that may tend to bring about the long lost ftjelings of univ.ersal 


The Raja added to this a brief personal welcome 
which was remarkable for its depth of feeling, and then 
the Swami replied to the following eflfect. 
^ ^. , '' Our sacred motherland is a land of religion and phi- 

/ndia, the fe r 

/ idofreH' losophjT — the birthplace of spiritual giants — the land of re- 
^lo^p^y, ^ ' nunciation, where and where alone, from the most ancient 
to the most modern times, there has been the highest ideal 
of life open to man. 

I have been in the countries of the West ; have travel- 
led through many lands, ot many races, and each race and 
each nation appears to me to have a particular ideal— a 
prominent ideal running through its whole life, and this 
ideal is the backbone of the national life. Not politics nor 
military power, not commercial supremacy nor mechanical 
cv^ National genius, fumishes India with that backbone, but religion, 
uai and religion alone, is all that we have and mean to have. 

Spirituality has been always in India. 

Great indeed are the manifestations of muscular 

power, and marvellous the manifestations of intellect ex- 

spirituaiity Passing themsclvcs through machines by the appliances of 

is tju strong- science; yet, none of these are more potent than the in- 

eH power in ^ '^ ' * 

the world flueuce which spirit exerts upon the world. 

The history of our race shows that India has always 

In re'i^ion ^^^" most activc. To-day, we are taught by men who 

India mani- ought to kuow better that the Hindu is mild and passive, 

vity till this has become a sort of proverb with the people of 

other lands. I discard the idea that India was ever 

passive. Nowhere has activity been more pronounced 

than in this blessed land of ours, and the great proof of 

this activity is that our most ancient and magnanimous 

race still lives, and at every decade in its glorious career 

seems to take on fresh youth — undying and imperishable. 

This activity is here but it is a peculiar fact in human 

nature, to quote a rather common-place proverb, that 


' nothing is like leather/ Take, for instance, a shoemaker. 
He understands only shoemaking and thinks there is no- 
thing in this life except the manufacturing of shoes. A 
brick-layer understands nothing but brick-laying and 
proves this alone in his life from day to day. The reason 
of this is plain. When the vibrations of light are very 
intense, we do not see them, because we are so constituted 
that we cannot go beyond our own plane of vision. But 
the Yogi with his spiritual introspection is able to see 
breaking through the materialistic veil of the vulgar crowds. 

The eyes of the whole world are now turned towards Continue 
this land of India for spiritual food, and India has to work ^^^^^^^*^' 
for all the races. Here alone is the best ideal for man- 
kind, and Western scholars are now struggling to under- 
stand this ideal which is enshrined in our Sanskrit Litera- 
ture and Philosophy and which has been the characteristic 
ot India all through the ages. 

J^nce the dawn of history, no missionary went out of 
India to propagate the Hindu doctrines and dogmas, but 
now a wonderful change is coming over us. Sri Bhagavan 
Krishna says " whenever virtue subsides and immorality 
prevails, I come again to help the world." Religious re- 
searches disclose to us the fact that there is not a country 
possessing a good ethical code but has borrowed something 
of it from us and there is not one religion possessing good 
ideas of the immortality of the soul but has derived it 
directly or indirectly from us. 

There never was a time in the world's history when ^-^^ world, 
there was so much tyranny of the strong over the weak, f^^y^^^f 

her tdeals 

robbery, and high-handedness, as at the latter end of the be preacher 
nineteenth century. Everybody knows that there is no 
salvation except through the conquering of the desires, 
and that no man is free who is subject to the bondage of 
matter. This great truth all the nations are slowly coming 


to understand and appreciate. As soon as the disciple 
is in a position to grasp this truth, the words of the Guru 
come to his help. The Lord sends help to his own child- 
ren in His Infinite mercy which never ceaseth and is ever 
flowing in all creeds. Our Lord is the Lord of all religions. 
This idea belongs to India alone and I challenge any one 
of you to find it in any other scripture of the world. 

We Hindus have now been placed, imder God's pro- 
vidence, in a very critical and responsible position. The 
nations of the West are coming to us for spiritual help. 
A great moral obligation rests on the sons of India to fully 
equip themselves for the work of enlightening the world 
on the problems of human existence. One thing we may 
note with pride, that whereas you will find that good and 
great men of other countries take pride in tracing back 
their descent to some robber baron who lived in a moun- 
tain fortress and emerged from time to time to plunder 
passing wayfarers, and this to them is great, we Hindu?, 
on the other hand, take pride in being the descendants of 
Rishis and sages, who lived in mountains and caves on 
roots and fruits, meditating on the Supreme. We may be 
now degraded and degenerated, but however degraded 
and degenerated we may be, we can become great if we 
only begin to work in right earnest on behalf of our reli- 

Accept my hearty thanks for the kind and cordial 
reception you have given me. It is impossible for me to 
express my gratitude to H. H. the Rajah of Ramnad for 
his love towards me. If any good work has been done by 
me and through me, every bit of it India owes to this 
great man ; for it was he that conceived the idea of my 
going to Chicago, and it was he that put that idea into 
my head and persistently urged me on to accomplish it^ 
Standing beside me, he is still hoping for more and more 



workjwith all his old enthusiasm. I wish there were half 
a dozen more such Rajahs to take interest in our dear 
motherland and work for her amelioration in the spiritual 
line. " 

This closed the proceedings, and the Swami entered a 
carriage to be driven to the Raja's bungalow* At the in* 
stance of the Raja, the horses were at once removed and 
the carriage drawn by the people through the small town, 
His Highness himself assisting. The three days, stay 
here was of a pleasant character, and gave opportunity to 
large numbers of residents both of Pamban and the pil* 
grimage town of Ramesvaram, close at hand, to do honour 
to the great preacher. A visit was also paid to Ramesvaram 
Temple. This is one of the four most sacred temples of 
India, the other three being Jagannath, Dvaraka and 
Badri Nath. In many respects this was one of the most 
interesting incidents of the tour. To the Swami himself it 
was especially so, for it recalled to him the first visit paid 
by him to the sacred spot, five years before, when, on foot 
and unknown he went there as one of the many thousands 
of Hindus who yearly make the pilgrimage. On this oc- 
casion it was very far otherwise. When nearing the Tem- 
ple the Swami's carriage was met by a procession which 
included elephants, camel, horses, the temple insignia, 
native music, and other evidences of the highest respect a 
Hindu can pay to a man, and in this way the Temple was 
reached. The temple jewels were displayed to the Sw^mi 
and his disciples, and after they had been conducted 
through the building, and its many architectural wonders 
pointed out — particularly the galleries supported b>' a thou* 
sand pillars — the Swami was asked to address the great 
crowd of people who had assembled. This he did in the 
following terms^ Mr. Nagalingam acting as interpreter 
into TanaiL 


wi, not " It is in love that religion exists and not in cere- 

^^^us rooiiy ; in the pure and sincere love in the heart. Unless 
tiigioH, ^ jnan is pure in body and mind, his coming into a temple 
and worshipping Siva is useless. The prayers of those 
that are pure in mind and body will be answered by Siva, 
and those that are impure, and yet try to teach religion to 
others, will meet with a very bad end. External worship 
is only a symbol of internal worship ; but internal worship 
and purity are the real things. Without them, external 
worship would be of no avail. Therefore, you must all try 
to remember this. In modern times, people have become 
80 degraded in this Kali Yuga that they think they can 
do anything ; if only they go to a holy place, their sins 
will be forgiven. If a man goes impure into a temple, he 
takes all the sins that were there already, and goes home 
a worse man than he left it. Tirtha is a place which is 
full of holy things and holy men. But if holy people live 
in a certain place, and if there is not one temple there that 
is a Tirtha. If unholy people live in a place where there 
may be hundred temples, the Tirtha has vanished from 
that place. And it is most difficult to live in a Tirtha^ for 
if sin committed in any ordinary place can easily be re- 
moved, sin committed in a Tirtha cannot be removed, 
nurnai* This is the gist of all worship, to be pure and to do 
^^^ good to others. He who sees Siva in the poor, in the 

weak, and in the diseased, really worships Siva ; and if he 
sees Siva only in the image, his worship is only prelimi- 
nary. With him who has served and helped one poor man 
seeing Siva in him, without thinking of his caste, or creed, 
or race, or anything, Siva is more pleased than with that 
man who sees Him only in temples. 

" A rich man had a garden and he had two gardeners. 
One of these gardeners was very lazy and did not work ; 
but when this rich man came to the garden, this lazy man 


would get up and fold his arms and say how beautiful is Tht nor 
the face of my master, and dance before him. The othep andtls \ 
gardener would not talk much^ but work hard, and ptoduc0 s<'f(i^»'^^ 
all sorts of fruits and vegetables and carry them on his 
head, a long way off, to his master. Of these two gard-^ 
eners, who would be more beloved by his master ? So 
Siva is that master, and this world is His garden, and 
there are two sorts of gardeners here : the one who is lazy, 
hypocritical^ and does nothing, only talking about Siva's 
eyes and nose and. all that ; and the other who is taking 
care of Siva's children, all that are poor and weak, all anir 
mals, and all His creation. Which of these would be more 
beloved by Siva ? Certainly he that serves His children. 
He who wants to serve the father must serve the diildren 
first. He who wants to serve Siva must serve His children 
— must serve this world first. It is said in Gita that those 
who serve tlie servants of God are His greatest servants?. 

So you will bear this in mind. Let me tell you again that GoJh set 

« 111 1 / <>^fy ^^^^ 

you must be pure and help any one who comes to you as man 

much as it lies in your power. And this is good Karma. 
By the power of this,. the heart becomes pure (Chitta 
Suddhi)^ and then Siva who is residing in every one will 
become manifest. He is always in the heart of every one. 
If there is dirt and dust on a mirror, we cannot see our 
image. So ignorance and wickedness are the dirt and dust 
that are on the mirror of our heart. This is the chief sin, 
selfishness, thinking of ourselves first. He who thinks ^ I Kmwkd^ 
will eat first, I will have more money than others, and I ar'e/A^^ss 
will possess everything ' ; he who thinks I will get to ^^erl^/e^^ 
heaven before others, I will get to ilfwA// before others,' is 
the selfish man. The unselfish man says ' I will be last, I 
do not care to go to heaven, I will even go to hell, if b}' 
doing that I can help my brothers/ This unselfishness is 
the test of reUgion. He who has more unselfishness i* 



more spiritual and nearer to Siva. Whether he is learned 
or ignorant, whether he knows it or not, he is nearer to 
Siva than anybody else. And if a man is selfish, even 
though he ha? visited all the temples, seen all the places of 
pilgrimage, and painted himself like a leper, still he is fur- 
ther off from Siva." 

It will be of interest to mention that in commemor- 
ation of the fact that the first spot in India visited by the 
Swami on his return from his Western Mission was Pamban 
the Bajah has had a monument erected there on which is 
the following inscription. 

Sathyameva Jayaihi. 

This momimeid erectedhij Blvaakara Sellncpaitty, the Roja 
f)f Ramiiadi murlcs the sacred $jiol where His Holiness Swami 
Vivekananda^s hkssed feet first trod on Indian soil together with 
the English disciples on His Holiness^ return from Western 
Hemisphere where gloi'ious a}id unprecedented success attended 
His Holiness' philanthropic lahoxirs to spread the religion of the 

Then came the short trip across to tlie mainland, and 
after breakfasting in one of the Chattrams provided by the 
charity of rich Hindus (in this case by the Raja) for the 
benefit of wayfarers, Tirupillani was reached, and an infor- 
mal welcome given the Swami. It was evening when 
Ramnad came in sight. The journey from the seacoast 
had been made by bullock cart, but when nearing Ramnad 
the Swami entered a boat which conveyed him across one 
of the large tanks which abound in Southern India. Thus 
the reception took place on the brink of the lake, which 
added considerably to tlie effect of the scene. ITie Raja, 
of course, took the leading part, and, having himself weU 
corned the Swami, introduced a number of the leading 
citizens of Ramnad. The firing of cannon had announced the 


approach of the party, and on landing cannon gave place to 
rockets, which were fired at frequent intervals from then 
until the procession, which was immediately formed, 
reached its goal. The Swami was driven in the state 
carriage accompanied by the Raja's bodyguard, under the 
command of His Highness' brother, the Raja directing the 
course of the procession on foot. Torches flared on either 
side of the road, and both native and European music ad- 
ded life to the aheady lively proceedings, the latter playing 
** See the Conquering Hero Comes " both on the landing 
of the Swami and on his approach to the city proper. 
When half the distance had been traversed the Swami was 
asked by the Raja to take his seat i|i the handsome State 
Palankeen, and in this way he reached the Sankara Villa^ 
After a slight rest the Swami was led into the large audi-, 
ence hall which was crowded with people, who renewed 
the enthusiaistic shouts which had greeted the Swami during 
the procession from the tank to the city. The Raja open- 
ed the proceedings in a speech full of eloquent eulogy, and 
called upon Raja Dinakara Sethupathi, his brother, to read 
the following address, which was afterwards presented to 
the Swami enclosed in a massive silver gilt casket of very 
chaste workmanship : — 

His most Holiness 

Sri Paramahamsa^ Yatki Raja^ Digvijaya Kolahala Sarvamata Samprathi- 
panna, Parama Vogeeswara^ Srimal B'lagavan Sree Rami Krishna Parama* 
iamsa Xarakamala Sanjatha, Ra^'adAiraJa SevUka, SREE VIVEKANANDA 


May ii Pleaxe Tour HoUnesM^ 

We, the inhabitants of this ancient and historic SamaS'* 
thanam of Sethu Bandha lUtmeswar, otherwise known as Haniana- 
tbapuram or Bimnad, beg, most cordially, to welcome you to this, 
our motherland. We deem it a very rare privilege to be the first 
to pay your Holiness our heart-felt homage on your landing in 
India, and that, on the shores sanctified by the t'oot*steps of 


tihat great Hero and our revered Lord— Sree Bbagavaa Bama* 

We have watched with feelings of genuine pride and pleasure 
the unprecedented success which has crowned your laudable 
i^fforts in bringing home to the master iiiinds of the West the in- 
trinsic merits and ex^iellence of our time- honored and noble religion* 
You have, with an eloqiieiK*e that is unsurpassed and in language 
plain and uiTn^istaluible, proclaimed to and convinced the cultured 
audiences in Europe and America that Hinduism fulfill all the 
requirements of the ideal of a universal relii^ion and adapts itself 
to the temperament and needs of men and women of all races and 
breeds. Animated purely by a disinterested impulse, influenced 
by the best of motives and at considerable Self-sacriflce your Holi- 
ness has crossed boundless sea? and oceans to convey the message 
oF truth and peace and to plant the fl.ig of India's spiritoal 
triumph and glory in the rich «oil of Europe and America. 
Your Holiness has, both by precept and practice, shown the 
feasibility and importance of universal brotherhood. Above all, 
your labours in the West have indirectly and to great extent ten- 
ded to awaken the apathetic tion-s and daughters of India to a 
sense of the greatness and glory of their ancestral faith and cre- 
ate in them a genuine interest in the study and observance of 
their dear and pi'i<jeless religion. 

We feel we cannot adequately convey to you in words our 
feelings of gratitude and thankfulness to your Holiness for your 
.philanthropic labours towards the spiritual regeneration of the 
East and the West. We cannot close this address without refer- 
rinfv to the great kindness which your Holiness has always exten- 
ded to our liajah, who is one of your devoted disciples, and the 
honor and pride he feels by this gracious act of your Holiness's 
landing ih'st on his territory is indescribable. 

In conclusion, we pray to the Almighty to bless your HoU- 
«ess with long life, health and strength to enable you to carry on 
the good work that has been so ably inaugurated by you. 

With respects and love. 
We beg to subscribe ourselves. 


Toar Uolioess's most devoted and obedient disciples and 

Eamnad. 1 

th Jaunary 1897. J 

The Swami's reply follows in exlenso :— 
" The longest night seems to be passsing over, the 
rest trouble seems to have an end at last, the sleeping awoLnmi 
rpse seems to be waking, and a voice is coming unto us, 
^ay back where history and even tradition fails to peep 
to the gloom of the past, coming down from there, reflec* 
d as it were from peak to peak of the infinite Himalaya 
knowledge, and of love, and of work, which is this 
other-land of ours, India — a voice is coming unto us, 
intle, firm> and yet unmistakable in its utterances, and is 
ining volume as days pass by, and behold the sleeper is 
vakening) like a breeze from the Himalayas, it is bring- 
g life unto almost the dead bones and muscles, the le- 
argy is pasf^ing away, and only the blind do not see, or 
e perverted will not see, that she is awakening, this mo- 
er-land of ours, from her deep long sleep. None can 
sist any more ; never is she going to sleep any more, no 
itward powers can hold her back anymore; for the 
finite giant is rising to her feet* 

Your Highness and gentlemen of Ramnad, accept my 
sart felt thanks for the cordiality and kindness with which 
m have received me. I feel that you are cordial and 
nd ; for, heart speaks unto heart better then any langu- 
e of the mouth, spirit speaks unto spirit in silence, and 
it in most unmistakable language and I (eel it in the 
lart of my heart. Your Highness of Ramnad, if there 
IS been any work done by my humble self in the cause 
our religion and our motherland in the Western coun-* 
ies, if any little work has been done in rousing the synipa- 
ies of Qur own people in drawing their attention to the 


inestimable jewels that are lying buried, as it were, deep 
round about their own home, and they know it not, if 
they are being called to go and drink out of the eternal 
fountain of water which is flowing perennially by their 
own homes and not die of thirst or drink of the filthy ditch 
water e'S3where, in blindness of ignorance, ifan5'thing 
has been done to rouse our people somewhat towards 
action, to make them understand that of everything 
religion and religion alone is the life of India, and when 
it goes India will die, in spite of politics, in spite 
of social reforms, in spite of Kubera's wealth pourei 
upon the head of every one of her children, if anything 
has been done towards this, this India and everv country 
where any work has been done owe it to you. Rajah of 
Ramnad. For it was you who gave me the idea first and 
it was you who persistently excited me on towards tl.a 
work. You, as it were, intuitively understood what was 
going to be, and took me up by the hands, helped me all 
along, and have never ceased to encourage me, and well is 
it that you should rejoice for the success first, and meet it 
is that I should land in your territory first on my return to 
India. Great works are to be done, wonderful powers 
have to be worked out, we have to teach other nations 
many things, as has been told to you already by your 
'.isystiu Rajah. This is the mother-land of philosoph}^ and of 
ofspi' spirituality, of ethics, and of sweetness, gentleness, and 
^ human love. These still exist, and my experience of the 
world leads me to stand on a firm ground, and make the 
bold statement that India is still the first and foremost of 
all the nations in the world in these respects. Look at 
this little phenomenon. There have been immense politi- 
cal changes within the last four or five years. Gigantic 
organisations undertaking to subvert the whole of existing 
institutions in different countries and meeting with a 


oert^in amount of success have been working all over the 
Western world. Ask our people if they heard anything 
of them ? Not a word. But that there was a Parliament 
of Religions in Chicago, and that there was a Sannyasin sent 
over from India to that Parliament, and that he was very 
well received, and that since that time he has been w^ork- 
ing all over the Western countries, the poorest beggar has 
known. I have heard that our masses are dense, they do 
not want any information, they do not care for any infor- 
mation. Sometimes, I had foolishly a leaning towards 
that opinion, but experience is a far more glorious teacher 
than any amount of speculation, or any amount of books 
written by globe-trotters and hasty observers. This ex- 
perience teaches me that they are not dense, they are not 
tilow, they are as eager and thirsty for information as any 
race under the sun ; but then each nation has its own part 
to pla}**, and naturally as well, each nation has its own 
peculiarity and individuality, with which it is born. One 
represents, as it were, one peculiar note in this harmony 
of nations, and this is its very life, its vitality. In it is the 
backbone, the foundation, and the bedrock, of the national 
life and here in this blessed land, the foundation, the back«^ 
bone, the life-centre is religion and religion alone. Let 
others talk of pohtic?, of the glory of acquisition of the 
immense wealth poured in by trade, of the powder and 
spread of commercialism, of the glorious fountain of phy-r 
fiical liberty, the Hindu mind does not understand it,^ does 
not want to understand it. Touch him on ^^ntuality, on 
religion, on God, on the soul, on the infinite, on spiritual 
freedom, the lowest peasant, I assure you, is better infor^ 
med in India than many a so^K^alled philosopher in other 
lands. I have said, gentlemen, that we have to teach 
something to the world yet. This is the very reason^ the 
raison d'etre, tliat this nation should live on in spite of 


. hundreds of year? of persecution, in spite of nearly a thoih 
sand years of foreign rule a^d foreign oppressioiir This 
nation still lives ; the raison d'etre is because it still holds 
to God, to the treasure-house of religion and spirituality. 

In this land, religion and spirituality are still the foun- 
tains which will have to overflow and flood the world, to 
bring in new life and new vitality to the Western and 
other nations, now almost borne down, half-killed and 
tHunciation degraded by political ambition and social scheming. From 
out of the many voices, consonant and dissentient^ from 
out of the medley of sounds filhng the Indian atmospherci, 
rises up supreme, striking, and full, one note, and that is 
renunciation. Give up I That is the watchword of the 
Indian books. This world is a delusion of two davs. The 
present life is of five minutes. Behind is the infinite be- 
yond and beyond ; go there. This continent is illumined 
with brave and gigantic minds and inteUigences who even 
think of this so called infinite universe as a mudpuddle ; 
beyond and still beyond they go. Time, even infinite 
time, is but non-existence^ Beyond and beyond time they 
^^ go. Space is nothing to them ; beyond that they want to 
reach the go, and this is the very soul of religion. This transcen- 
xracuristic dcutalism, the struggle to go beyond, daring to tear the 
the natton. ^gj| ^g- ^j^g ^^^^ ^f uature and have a glimpse of the be* 

yond, at any risk, at any price, is the characteristic of my 
nation. Do you want to enthuse them, here you are, that 
will enthuse them. Your talks of poHtics, of social rege* 
neration, j^our talks of money-making, and commercialism 
^— aye, they roll down like water from a duck's back; 
This then, this spirituahty, is what you have to teach the 
world. Have we got to learn anything else, have we to 
learn anything from the world ? We have, perhaps a little 
in material knowledge, in the power of organisation, in 
the ability to handle powers, organising powers, and 


bringing the best results out of the smallest of causes. 
This perhaps to a certain extent we may learn from the 
West and so long as all men in a country cannot give up 
entirely, although that is our ideal, if any one preaches in 
India the ideal of eating and drinking and making merry, 
if any one wants to apotheosise the material world into 
" God for India," that man is a liar ; he has no place in this 
holy land, the Indian mind does not want to hear him. 
Aye, in spite of the sparkle and glitter of Western civili- 
sation, in spite of all its polish and its marvellous manifest- 
tion of power, I tell them, standing upon this platform, to 
their teeth, it is all vain. It is \anity of vanities, God 
alone lives. The soul alone Uves. SpirituaHty alone lives. 
Hold on to that. 

Yet, some sort of materialism, toned down to our ^^^ ^ 
own use perhaps, would be a blessing to many of our renunctott. 
brothers who are not yet ripe for the highest truths. This ^Ife of Ida 
is the one mistake made in every country and in every ^i^^^ 
society, and it is a greatly regrettable thing that in India, 
wherQ it was always understood, the same mistake, of late, 
has been made. Another mistake is this. What is my 
method need not be yours. The Sannyasin, as you aU 
know% is the ideal of the Hindu s life and every one by our 
Shastras is compelled to give up, and he who does not is 
not a Hindu, and has no more right to call himself a 
Hindu. He is disobedient and disloyal to his books. Every 
Hindu who has tasted the fruits of this world must give 
up in the latter part of his life. We know this is the ideal 
— to give up after seeing and experiencing the vanity of 
things. Haying found out that the heart of the material 
world is a mere hollow, that in its centre are only handfuls 
of ashes, give it up and go back. The mind is circling for- 
ward, as it were, towards the senses, and that mind has to 
circle backwards ; the Pravritti has to stop and the NivriUi 



hai?' to begin. That is tlie ideal. But that ideal can only 
be realised after a certain amount of experience. We can- 
not teach the child the truth of renunciation ; the child is 
a born optimist ; his whole life is in his senses ; his whole 
life is one mass of sense-enjoyment. So are the child-like 
men in every societj'. They require a certain amount of 
experience, of enjoyment, to see through the vanity of it, 
and then renunciation will come to them. There have 
been ample provisions for that in our books ; but unfor- 
tunately, in later times, there is a tendency to bind every one 
down by the same laws as those by which the Sannyasin is 
bound, and that is a great mistake. A good deal of the 
poverty and the misery that you see in India need not be 
but for that. A poor man's life is hemmed in and bound 
down by tremendous spiritual and ethical laws for which 
he has no need. Let hands be off, let the poor fellow 
enjoy a little, and he will raise himself up and theft renun- 
ciation will come to him by itself. In this line, gentle- 
-fiUm men, perhaps we can learn something from the western 
ur^M^m people, but we must be very cautious in learning these 
eet/edto things. I am very sorrv to say that most of the examples 

tre the ^ ■% x 

€r. one meets nowadays of men having imbibed the western 

ideas are more or less failures. Here are the. two mountains 
before our path in India, the Scylla of old orthodoxy^ and 
the Chary bdis of modern European civilisation. Of these, 
I vote for the old orthodoxy, and not for the Europeanised 
system ; for the old orthodox man may be ignorant, he 
may be crude, but he is a man, he has a faith, he has 
strength, he stands on his own feet, while the Europeanised 
man has no backbone, he is a bundle of heterogeneous 
ideas picked up at random from e\'ery source — unassimi- 
lated, undigested; unharmonised. He stands not on his 
own feet, his head is turning round day and night, and 
where is the motive power of his work ? A few patronis- 


ing pats from our " mylords," the English people ; his re- 
forms, his vehement vituperations against the evils of cer- 
tain social customs have, as the mainspring of all these 
actions, some European patronage. Why are some of our 
customs called evils ? Because the Europeans say so. 
That is about the reason he gives. I would not have that ; 
stand and die in your strength ; if there is any sin in the 
world, it is, — weakness ; avoid all weakness, weakness is 
death, weakness is sin. Those old orthodox people were 
staunch and were men, while these unbalanced creatures 
are not yet formed into distinct beings. What to call 
them — men, women or animals ? But there are some 
glorious examples, and the one I want to present before 
you is your Raja of Ramnad. Here, you have a man than 
whom there is a no more zealous Hindu throughout the 
length and breadth of this land, here you have a prince 
than whom there is no f)rince in this land better informed 
in all affairs, oriental or occidental. Here he is harmonised 
taking from every nation whatever he can that is good. 
Sraddhadhdnah subham vidydm ddaditdvardd api^ aniyad 
apiparam dharmam striratnatn dushkuldd apL "Learn y^r7etisL 
any good knowledge with all force from the lowest caste. '^ ^^^*^. 

^ . your nattc 

Learn the way to freedom, even from the Pariah, by serv- aiufe Uan 
ing him ; from the lowest caste, the lowest family, take" a ^^^'^ * * 
great woman in marriage, a jewel of a woman in marriage." 
Such is the law laid down by our great and peerless leg- 
islator, the divine Manu. This is true. Learn from every 
nation, stand on your own feet, assimilate what you can, 
take what is of use to you, and mind, as ' Hindus,' every- 
thing else must be subordinated to that. Each man as it 
were, has a mission in life which is the result of all his in- 
finite past Karina. Upon each of you, men of this city, 
there is a mission with which you were born, and that is 
the whole of the infinite past life of your glorious nation. 


Aye, yout millions of ancetsors are watching, as it were 
every action of yours ; take care. And what is the mis- 
sion with which every Hindu child is bom ? Do you not 
read the proud declaration of Manu as regards the Brah- 
min, the birth of the Brahmin — Brdhmano jAyamdno hi 
prithivy6m adhijdyate Isvaras sarva-bhutHndm dhaf' 
makosasya gnptaycy — " for the protection of the treasury 
of religion. " I would say that is the mission of every child, 
boy or girl, born in this blessed land, "for the protection of 
the treasure of religion." And every other question in life 
must be subordinated to that one principal theme.- That 
is the law of harmony in music. There may be a nation 
where the theme of life is political supremacy ; religion 
and everything else must become subordinate to that one 
great theme of their life. But heie is another nation 
where the one great theme of life is spirituality and 
renunciation, whose one watchword is that this world is a 
delusion of three days, vanity, and ever5rthing else science 
or knowledge, enjojmients or powers, name or fame, or 
wealth, everything else, must be subordinated to that. Tlie 
secret of your Rkja's character is that this has been done 
in his case, he has subordinated his knowledge of European 
sciences and European learning, he has subordinated his 
wealth, and his position, and his name, to that one 
principal theme which is inborn in every Hindu child — the 
spirituality and purity of the race. Therefore, between 
these two, the case of the man who has the whole of that 
life-spring of the race, spirituality and who has nothing 
else — that is the old crude orthodoxy — and the other man, 
whose bands are full of western imitation-jewels but has 
*!the ^^ '^^'^ ^" ^^® life-giving principle, spirituality, of these I 
^^ do not doubt that every one here will agree that we should 
choose the first, the orthodox because there is some hope 
in him. He has a hold, he has the national theme, he will 

6 1 

live, the other will die. Just as in the case of individual^i 
if the principle of the life is undisturbed, if the principal 
function of that individual life is present, any other injuries 
received as regards any other functions are not serious — 
Etny other function never becomes constant. So long as 
this principal function of our life is not disturbed nothing 
::an destroy our nation. But mark you, if you give up 
that spirituality, leaving it aside to go after the materialis- 
ing civilisation of the West, the result will be in three 
^generations you will be an extinct race ; because, the back- 
bone of the nation will be broken down, the foundation 
upon which the national edifice has been built will be bro- 
ken away and the result will be a smash all round, 

Therefore, my friends, this is the way out, that first 
and foremost we must keep a firm hold on that spirituality 
—that inestimable gift handed down to us by our ancient 
Forefathers. Did you ever hear of a country, where the 
neatest kings tried to trace their descent, not to kings, 
not to old barons and robbers living in old castles, and . 
coming down on poor travellers, but to semi-naked sages 
in the forests ? Did you ever hear of such a land ? This 
is the land. In other countries great priests try to trace 
their descent to some king, here the greatest kings would 
trace their descent to some ancient priest. Therefore, the new^Uar 
svhether you believe in spirituality or not, for the sake of ^^ff^^p^ 
the national life, you have to get a hold on that spiritual- of ^^ry 
ity and keep to it. Then stretch the other hand out and protection <j 
?et all you can from other races, but everything must be ^ ^^^*i*on 
subordinated to that one ideal of life and out of that a 
wronderful, glorious, future India will come — I am sure it 
is coming — greater than India ever was. Sages will spring 
op greater than all the ancient sages, and your ancestors 
will not only be satisfied, but I am sure, they will be proud. 


from their positions in other worlds, to look down upon 
their descendants, so glorious, and so great. Let us all 
work hard, my brethren, this is no time to sleep. On our 
^work depends the coming of the India of the future. She 
is there ready waiting. She was only sleeping. Up and 
awake her, and let her be seated on her eternal throne, 
rejuvenated, more glorious than she ever was — this mother- 
land of ours. And may He who is the Siva of the Sivites, 
the Vishnu of the Vaisnavites, the Karma of the Karmis, 
the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jina of the Jains, the 
Jehovah of t^ie Christians and the Jews, the Allah of the 
Mahomedans, the Lord of every sect, the Brahman of the 
Vedantists, He, the all-pervading, whose glory has been 
known wholly in this land — for, this idea never existed 
anywhere else, nowhere was the idea of God ; perhaps you 
are astonished at my assertion but show me any idea of 
God from any scripture ; they have only clan-Gods, God 
of the Jews, God of the Arabs, and of such and such a 
race, and their God is fighting the Gods of the other races, 
and the idea of that beneficent, most merciful God, our 
father, our mother, our friend, the friend of our friends, the 
soul of our souls is here and here alone— May He bless us, 
may He help us, may He give strength unto us, energj' unto 
us, to carry this idea into practice. May that whch we 
have listened to and studied become food in us, may it 
become strength in us, may it become energy in us to help 
others ; may we, the teacher and the taught, not be jealous 
of each other ! Peace, peace, peace, in the name of Hari." 

The Raja closed the proceedings by suggesting that 
the Swami's visit to Ramnad should be commemorated 
by a subscription from the town to the Madras Famine 

During his stay in the city the Swami received numer- 
ous visitors, in addition to lecturing in the Christian Mis- 


sionary Schoolroom, very kindly lent for the purpose, and 
attending a Durbar at the palace held in his honor. At 
the latter he received further addresses in Tamil and Sans- 
crit, and made a short but interesting speech of a charac- 
ter personal to the Raja, of whom he spoke as a man of 
the highest temporal rank yet with his heart ever fixed on 
God. He conferred on him the title of Rajarishi, the 
Princely Sage. In addition to this he made a little speech 
into a phonograph, in which he emphasised the need for 
Sakti (power) worship in India. This visit to the Palace 
was paid on the Sunday evening, and at midnight a fresh 
start was made on the journey North. 

Paramakudi was the first stopping place after leaving 
Ramnad, and there was a demonstration on a large scale, 
including presentation of the following address : — 

Sreemat Vivekananda Swami. 

We, the citizens of Paramakudi, respectfully beg to accord to ^^^^^^ ^f 
your Holiness a most hearty welcome to this place after your tfu Citizens 
successful spiritual campaign of nearly four yeart in the Western kudL^'^ 

We share with our countrymen the feelings of joy and pride 
at the philanthropy which prompted you to attend the Parlia- 
ment of Beligions held at Chicago and lay before the represent- 
tati?es of the religious world the sacred but hidden treasures^ is^ 
oar ancient land. You have by your wide exposition of the 
sacred truths contained in the Vedic literature, disabused the 
enlightened minds of the West . of the prejudices till recently 
entertained by theni against our ancient faith and convinced them 
of its universality and adaptability for intellects of all shades and 
in all ages. 

The presence amonfjst us of your Western disciples is proof 
positive that your religious teachings have not only been under- 
stood in theory but have also borne practical fruits. The magne- 
tic influence of your august person reminds us of oiir ancient 


holy Bishis whoee realisation of the Self by asceticism and sdf' 
control made them the true guides and preceptors of the hamaa 

In conclusion we most earnestly pray to the All . Merciful 
that your Holiness may long be spared to continue to bless and 
spiritualise the whole mankind. 

With best regards, 
We bt^g to subscribe ourselves, 
Your Holiness ' most obedient and devoted 

Disciples and Servants. 

In the course of his reply the Swami said, — 
"It is almost impossible to express my thanks for the 
^u)ami*s bi^e kindness and cordiality with which you have received me. 

^ountry ^^^^ ^^ ^ "^^y ^® permitted to say so, I will add that my 
love for my country, and especially for my countrymen, 
will be the same whether they receive me with the utmost 
cordiality or spurn me from the country. For we read in 
the Gita that Sri Krishna says — men should work for work's 
sake only, and love for love's sake. The work that has 
been done in the Western world has been very little ; there 
is no one present here who cannot do a hundred times 
more work than has been done by me there in the West, 
and I am anxiously waiting for the day when mighty minds 
will arise, gigantic spiritual minds, ready to go forth out of 
India to the ends of the world, teaching spirituality and 

TiUre an renunciation, which ideas came from the forests of India, 

sriyis of ,^ 

voridweari- and belong to Indian soil alone. There come periods in 
\ist0yy. ** the history of the human race when, as it were, whole nations 
are seized with a sort ot world-weariness, when they find 
that all their plans are, as it were, slipping between then* 
fingers, old institutions and systems are crumbling into dust, 
hopes are all blighted, and everything seems to be out of 
joint. Two attempts have been made in the world to 

found social life ; tlie one was upon religion, and the other 
was upon social necessit)\ The one was founded upon 
spirituality, the other upon materialism, the one upon ^JJ^o/M^ 
transcendentalism, the other upon realism. The one looks ^- *^^o^8^ 
beyond the horizen of this little material world of ours and 2. through 
is bold enough to begin life there, even apart from the fJcessUm^ 
other. The other, the second, is content to take its stand 
on the things around and expects to have a firm footing 
upon that. Curiously enough it seems that at times the 
spiritual side ptevails, and again the materialistic side, in 
wavelike motions following each other. In the same 
country there will be different tides ; at one time the full 
flood of materialistic ideas— everything in this life will 
become glorious before, prosperity, education pouring in 
more food, more pleasure— and tlien that will degrade and 
degenerate. Along with the prosperity will rise to white 
heat all the inborn jealousy and hatred of the human race. 
Competition and merciless cruelty will be the watchword 
of the day. To quote a very common-place and not very 
good English proverb, '*Kverj'one for himself, and the 
devil take care of tlie hindmost" ; that becomes the motto 
of the day. Then people think that the whole scheme of 
this life was failure, and tlic world would be destroyed did 
not spirituality come to the rescue, lend a helping hand to 
the sinking world. And tlien the world gets new liope^ 
finds a new basis for a new building, and another wave of 
spirituality comes, that again degenerates. As a rule 
spirituality brings a class of men who lay exclusive claim 
to the special powers of the world, and the immediate 
efifect <rf this is a reaction towards materialism which opens 
the door to scores of exclusive claims until the time comes 
when not only all the spiritual powers of the race, but all 
its material powers and privileges are centred in the hands 
of a very fewj and these few, standing on the necks of the 



s alnage of 

vib of 

massesofthe people, want to rule them. Then society 
iiasto help itself, materialism comes to the rescue. The 
same thing is going on now, if you look at India, our 
motherland. That you are here to-day to i welcome one 
who went to Europe to preach your spirituality would 
have been impossible had not the materialism of Europe 
opened the way for it. Materialism hasconie to the 
rescue of India in a certain sense, by thowing open the 
doors of Hfe to everyone, by destroying exclusive privileges 
of certain caste, by opening up to discussion the inestim- 
able jewels hidden away in the hands of a very few, and 
even they have lost the use of them. Half has been sto- 
len and lost, and the half which remains is in the hands of 
ilien who, like dogs in the manger, do not eat themselves 
nr allow others to eat of them. On the other band the 
political systems that we are struggling for in India have 
been in Europe for ages, have been tried for centuries, and 
have been found wanting. One after another, instituticms, 
systems, and everything connected with political govern- 
ments have been condemned as useless, and Europe is 
ref?tless, does not know where to go. Tlie material t)^ran- 
ny is tremendous. The wealth and power of a country 
are in the hands of a few men who do wo work, but can 
itianipwlate the work of millions of human beings. By 
this power they can deluge the whole earth with blood. 
Religion and everything are under tl>eir feet ; tliey stand 
;lnd role supreme. The western world is governai by a 
handful of Sbylocks. All these things that you hear about 
-^-constitutional governmentf and freedom, and liberty 
and parliaments — are but jokes. Tl>e West is groaning 
imder the tyranny of the Sbylocks, and the East is groan- 
ing under the tyranny of the Priests ; each must keep the 
c^her in check. Do not think that one akme is to help 
the workJ, In this creation of the impartial Lord He has 


made equal every particle in the universe. The. worst, 
most demoniacal man, has some virtues which the greatest 
saint has not, and the lowest worm may have certain 
things which the highest man may not have. The poor 
labourer here who you think has so little enjoyment in 
life, has not your intellect, cannot understand the Vedknta 
PhilosopTiy and so forth, but compared to your body hi^j 
body is nothing like as sensitive to pain as yours. You 
may almost cut him to pieces and he heals up the next 
day. His Ufe is in the senses, but he enjoys there. His 
life is one of equilibrium and balance. Whether on the 
ground of materialism, or of intellect, or of spirituality the 
amount that is given by the Lord to every one impartially 
is exactly the same. Therefore you must not think that 
we are the saviours of the world. We can teach the world 
a good many things, and we can learn fiom the world a 
good many things too. What we can teach the world is /?«,« and 
what the world is waiting for. The whole of western jj^^^^j^j* 
civilisation will crumble to pieces in the next fifty years if -SWiV/k 
there is no spiritual foundation. It is too useless and hope- 
less to attempt to govern mankind with the sword. You 
will find that the very centres from which such ideas sprang 
up, government by force, are the very first centres to de- 
grade and degenerate and crumble to pieces. Europe, the 
centre of the manifestation of material energy, will crumble 
into dust within fifty years if she is not mindful to change 
her position, to shift her ground and take in spirituality as tkl^f/plf^. 
the basis of mankind. And what will save Europe is the '^^^* ^^'^ 

*■ will save 

religion of the Upanishad^i. Apart from the different sects Europe 
and philosophies and scriptures there is one underlying 
doctrine common to all our sects, whicfi can change the 
whole tendency of the world, belief in the soul of man, 
the dtniafi, ' Everywhere in India, with Hindus, Jains and jke doc- 
Buddhists, thereat is, the idea of a spiritual soul which is (7/IlJrf'5f^^ 


Ihe receptacle ot all power. And you know well, too, 
that there is no one system in India whicli tells you you 
can get your power, or purity, or perfection from outside, 
but that they are your birthright, your nature. Impurity 
is a mere super -imposition ,under which )'our real nature 
has become hidden. But the real you is already perfect^ 
already strong. You do not require any assistance to go* 
vem yourselves ; you are already self-restrained. The 
only difference is in knowing it or not knowing it. Tliere- 
fore the one difficulty has been summed up in the word 
ovidyd. What makes the difference between God and 
man, between the saint and tlie sinner ? Only ignon^nce* 
What is the difference between the highest man aqd the 
lowest worm that crawls un^er your feet ? Ignorance \ 
that makes all the difference. For inside that little crawl- 
ing worm is lodged infinite power> and knowle^lge, and 
purity, the infinite divinity of God Himself. It is unman^ 
ifested ; it will have to be manifested. Tliis is the one 
great truth India has to teach to the world, because it is 

\f'^^^% nowhere else. This is spiritualit)'*, the science of the soul. 

five What makes a man stand up and work ? Strength, Strength 

' is goodness weakness is sin. If there is one word that 
you find come out like a bomb from the Upanishads, burs- 
ting like a bombshell upon masses of ignorance, it is the 
word fearlessness. And it is the only religion that wants to 
be taught, that word Jearlessness, Either speaking of 
this world or of God true it is, for it is fear that is the 

'wr'li&r sure cause ot degradation and sin. It is fear that, brings 

md%ath. inisery, fear that brings death, that brings everything 
else ; and what causes fear ? Ignorance of our own nature« 
Heir apparent to the Emperor of Emperors, you are thei 
parts and parcels of the substance of God Himself. Nay^ 
according to the Advaita you are God Himself and have 
forgotten your own nature in thinking of yourselves as littfe 


rnm. Wc have fallen and want to make differences — 
I am a little better than you^ or you than I and so on. 
This is the great lesson India has to give, and, see you, it 
changes the whole aspect of things, because first of all you 
look at men and animals through other eyes than you 
have been looking at them. And this world is no more 
a battle field where each soul is born to struggle with according 
eveecy other soul, and the strongest gets the victory and ^^^^'*- 
the weakest goes to death. It becomes a play ground 
where the Lord like a child is playing, and we are his 
playmates, His fellow workers. This is a play, however 
terrible, hideous and dangerous it may appear. We have 
mistaken it. When we have known the nature of the 
soul, hope comes to the weakest, to the most degraded 
sinner, to the most mi:<erable. Only, declares your Sastra, 
despair not. For you are the same whatever you do, and 
you cannot change your nature. Nature itself cannot des- 
troy nature. Your nature is pure. It may be hidden for 
millions of aeons, but at last it will conquer and come out. 
Therefore it brings hope to every one and not despair^ 
Its teaching is not through fear ; it teaches not of devils 
who are always on the watch to snatch you if you miss 
your footing. It has nothing in do with devils, but says 
that you have taken your fate in vour own hands. Your 
own Karma has manufactured for 3'ou this body, and no- jguLy m 
body did it for you. The Omnipresent Lord has been ^^^ ^^ 
hidden through ignorance, and the responsibility is on 
yourself. You have not to think that you were brought 
into the world without your choice, and left in this most 
horrible place, but you know that you have manufactured 
it yourself, bit by bit, just as you are domg at this very 
moment. You yourself eat ; nobody eats for you. You 
assimilate what you eat ;.no one does it for you. You 
make blood, and. muscles and body out of the food; 

nobody does it for you. So you have done all the tin:e. One 
link in a chain explains the infinite chain. If it is tnie 
for one moment that you manufacture your body it is tnie 
for every moment that has been or will come. And all 
the responsibility of good and evil is on }^ou. This is the 
religion g'^'^^^ hope. What I have done I can undo. And at the 
^^^ ^ same time our religion does not take off from mankind, the 

ae fhe '^ . ' 

:y of the mcrcy of the Lord. That must be there. On the other 
hand He stands beside this tremendous current of good and' 
evil ; He the bondless, the ever-merciful, is always ready to 
help us to the other shore, for His mercy is great, — R&ml- 
nuja says, and it always comes to the pure in heart. 
Thus your spirituality, in certain senses, must have to 
come to from the basis of the new orders of society. If 
Iliad had more time I could have shown 5*^0^ how the 
West has yet more to learn from some of the conclusions 
of the Advaita, for in these days of materialistic science 
the ideal of the Personal God does not count for mnch. 
But yet if a man has even a very crude form of religion, 
wants any number of temples and form, enough to satisfy 
all mankind living to-day in the world, if he wants a Pe^ 
sonal God to love, we have such noble ideas of Personal 
God as never were attained anywhere else in the world. 
If a man wants to be a very great rationalist — to satisfy 
his reason — it is here also that we can give him the most 
rational ideas of the Impersonal. 

The Swami concluded by repeating his thanks for the 
welcome accorded him. 
idress ef ^^ Mauamadura, the next halting place, the foUow- 
; 2^*^^^' ing address was persented to the Swami : — 

^^'^ ^/ To Sri Swami Vivekananda. 

^angaand . , . 

tmidura, MoST REVERED SIR — 

We, the Zemindar and eitiz^^ns of Sivaganga and Mann- 
raadura bi»g to offer youa niost hearty welcome. In our wildest 


dreAins. in the most sanguine moments of our lite we never 
contemplated that you, sir, who were so near our hearts would 
be in such close proximity to our homes. The first wire intimat* 
ing your inability to come to Siva^nga cast a deep gloom on our 
hearts, and but for the subsequent silver lining on the cloud our 
disappointment must have beer, incurable. When we first heard 
that you consented to honor our place with your presence we 
thought we had realised our highest ambition. The mountain 
promised to come to Mahomet, and our joy knew no bounds. 
The mountain was obliged to withdraw its consent and our worst 
fears were raised that we might not be able even to go to the 
mountain, till you, sir, were graciously pleased to give way to our 

The noble self-sacrificing spirit with which, despite the al-* 
most insurmountable difficulties of the voyage you have conveyed 
the grandest message of the East to the West, the masterly way 
in which the mission has been executed and the marvellous un- 
paralleled success which has crowned your philanthropic efforts 
liave earned for you an undying glory. At a time when Wes« 
tern bread-winning materialism waj making the strongest inroads 
on Indian Bsligious convictions, when the sayings and writings 
of our sages were beinning to be numbered, the advent of a new 
master like you has already marked an era in the annals of reli- 
gious advancement, and we hope that in the fulness of time you 
will succeed in disintegrating the dross that is temporarily cover- 
ing the genuine gold of Indian Philosophy, and casting it in the 
pbtrerful mint of your intellect will make it cnrrent coin thVough- 
:>ut the whole globe. The Catholicity with which you were able 
iriumpbantly to bear the fiag of Indian Philosophic thought 
imong the heterogeneous religionists assembled in the Parlistment 
>f Religions enables us to hope that at no distant date you, just 
like your contemporary in the political sphere, will rule an 
empire over which the sun never sets, with this difference, that 
hers is an empire over matter, and yours will be over mind. W^ 
earnestly pray to the Almighty that as she has beaten all record 
in political history by the length and beneficence of her reign. 


you will be spared long enough to consuiriinate the labor of loie 

tliat you have so disintere^ttedly undertaken, and so to outshind 


all your predecessors in spiritual hi«tory. 

We are. 
Most Revered Sir, 
Your most dutiful and devoted Senrants, 

The Swanii's reply was to the following effect : — 

" I cannot express the deep debt of gratitude which 
you have laid upon me by the Ij^ind and warm welcome 
which has jus^t been accorded to me by you. Unfortu- 
nately I am ju-t now not in a condition to make a voy 
big speech, however I may wish it. In spite of these be- 
autiful adjectives which our Sanscrit friend has been so 
kind as to apply to me, after all, I have a body, foolish 
though it may b^, and boJy always follows the prompt^ 
ings and conditions and laws of matter. As such there is 
such a thing as fatigue and weariness as regards the ma- 
terial body. It is a great sight to see the wonderful am- 
ount of joy and appreciation expressed, in every part of 
the country almost, for the little work that has been done' 
by me in the West. I take it only in this sense ; I want 
to apply it to those who are coming in future, that if just 
the little bit of work that has been^ done by me gets such 
approbation from the nation, wh^t must be the approba- 
tion that spiritual giants coming after us, great souls*, world- 
movers, will get frjm this nation of ours ? India is the land 
of religion ; the Hindu understands religion and religion 
alone. Centuries of education have been always in that line, 
and the result is here, that it is the one concern in; life, and 
yOu can understand well that it is so. It is not necessary 
that every one should be a shopkeeper ; it is not necessanry 
even that everj^one should be a school-master ; it is not 
necessary that everyone should be a fighter, but in this ' 
world of harmony there will be different nations producing 


the harmony of result. Wdl, perhaps^ we are fated by ^' «« «" . 
the Diyine Providence to pla^' the spiritual note in this the com- 
Itarmony of nation* and it is what pejoices me, seeing that JJJJJ^JJ^J ^^ 
we have not yet lost the glorious traditions which have ^^^^J^^ ^, 
been handed do«wn to- us by the most glorious forefathers eacA nation 
of whom any nation can be prond. It gives me hope,, it iZf^L^ton: 
gives me almost faith adamantine m the diestkiy of the 
face. It cheers me,, not the personal attention paid to^me, 
but that the heart of the nation is sound. Tliere it is still ; 
India is still living ; who says it is dead ? Bnt they want 
ts see us active* That is not our field. If a man wants 
to see ua active on the field of battle he will be dSsappoin- -^"^'f'* ^^} 

is SMPj/ntH, 

ted, just as we would be disappointed if we hoped to see 
a military nation active on the field of spisituality. But 
let them come here and see how the nation i« living,. 
equaUy active and as alive as e\'eT. It leadH me te^ dispdi 
the idea thaft we have degenerated at alL So* far so> good. 
But I have to say a few harsh words, I hope you will 
take them kindly. For the conrplakit has just been made 
that European Materialism has wdl nigh swamped us. It /r^,,^,^ ^, 
is not all the fault oi Europeans, but mainly ours. We as /^«'»f« ^^^ 
Vedantists must always look at thmgs from an mtrospec- 
live standpoint, from its subjective relations. We as Ved- 
antists know for sure that there is na power in the universe 
ts injure us unless we first injure ourselves. Ohe-fiftb of 
the population of India have been Mahomedans. Just as 
before that,, going fwther back, two-thirds of the popu- 
lation in ancient times had become Buddhists, one-fifth are 
now MalKMiiedanSv Christians are already more than a 
mdlioD. Whose fault is it ? Chie of our historians says in 
ever-memofable language — Why should these poor wre- 
tches starve and die of thirst when the perennial fountain 
of life is flowing by ? The question is what did we do for 
these ? Why should they become Mabomedans ? 1 heard 



of an honest girl in England who was going to become 
wicked— a street walker—that when a lady at^ked her not 
to do it her reply was, " that is the only way I can find 
sympathy, none wnll come to help me now, but let me be 
a fallen, down-trodden woman, and then these merciful 
ladies will come, take me to their homes and do every- 
thing they can for me, but not now. " We are weeping 
for them now, but what did we do for them before ? Let 
us ask every one of ua, what have we learnt ourselves, 
each one of us and taking hold of the torch in our own 
hands, how far did we carry it ? That we did not do was 
decause of our own fault, our own Karma. Blame none, blame our 

our own 

degeneraHon own Karma. Materialism, or Mahomedanism, or Chris- 
Tboiaun- tianity, or any other Ism in the world could never have 
meaning succeeded but that you allowed them. No bacilli can 

t/itngs. "^ 

attack in the human frame until it is degraded and degene- 
rated by vice, and bad food, and privation, and exposure ; 
the healthy man passes scatheless through masses of all 
sorts of poisonous bacilli. We did not help them then. 
Therefore this is the first question we should ask ourselves, 
And yet there is time. Give up all those old discussions, 
old fights about things which are meaningless, which are 
nonsensical in their very nature. Think of the last 6oo or 
700 years of degradation, when grown up men by hun- 
dreds have been discussing for years whether we should 
drink a glass of water with the right hand or the left, 
whether the hand should be washed three times or four 
times, whether five times we should gargle of six times. 
What can you expect from men who pass their lives in 
discussing such momentous questions as these ; and writ- 
ing most learned philosophies on these questions 1 There 
is a danger of our religion getting into the kitchen. We 
are neither Vedantists most of us now, nor Pauranics, nor 
Tan tries. We are just " Don't-touchists,' Our religion is 


kitchen. Our God is the cooking pot and our religion is 
' Don't touch me, I am holy," If this goes on for another ^^^jffj^, 
:entury, every one of us will be in the lunatic. asylum. It ^^^^f '««^. 
s a sure sign of softening of the brain when the mind can- musi wake 
lot grasp higher problems of life ; all originality is lost, ''^' 
:he mind has lost all its strength, its activity, and its -power 
>f thought, and just tries to go round and round the smallest 
:urve it can find. This has first to be thrown overboard, 
md you must stand up, be active, and strong, and then 
there is yet an infinite treasure, the treasure our forefa- 
thers have left for you, a treasure that the whole world 
requiries to-day. The world will die if this treasure is not 
distributed. Bring it out, distribute it broadcast. Says thiontduty 
Vyasa, giving alone is the one work in this Kali YugUj and ^/orY/uKaii 
of all the gifts, giving spiritual life is the highest gift possi- ^*^*»i 
ble, the next gift is secular knowledge, the next saving a 
life of man, and the last giving food to some one. Of food 
we have given enough ; no nation is more charitable then 
we. So long as there is a piece of bread in the home of 
the beggar he will give half of it. Such a phenomenon 
can only be observed in India. We have enough of that, ^^ gi^'i^g 
let us go for the other two, the gift of spiritual and secular andsLuiar 
knowledge. And if we all of us were brave and had a ^^^^^' 
stout heart, and with absolute sincerity put our shoulders 
to the wheel, in twenty five years the whole problem would 
be solved, and there would be none left here to fight, but 
the whole Indian world would be once more Aryan. This ^fffj^/^^*^ 

•^ will hecomi 

is all I have to tell you now. I am not given much to once more 
talking about plans ; I rather prefer to do and show, 
then talk about my plans. I have my plans, and mean 
to work them out if the Lord wills it, and if life is given 
unto me. I do not know whether I shall succeed or not, 
but it is a great thing to take up an ideal in life which is 
great, and tlien give up the whole life to it. For what is 


the value of life else, this vegetating, little, low, life of 
man ? Subordinating it to one high ideal is the only value 
that life has. This is the great work to be done in India, 
and welcome the present revival, and I would be a fool if I 
lost the opportunity of striking the iron while it is hot. 

At Madura, the Swami occupied the beautifal ban- 
galow of the Raja of Ramnad and was in the aflemoon 
presented with an address in a velvet case which read as 
follows : — 

Most Revered swami. 

Address of ^® ^^® Hindu Public of Madurn beg to offer yon our most 

'^^/^^^^^ heartMt and respectful welcome to oar ancient and holy city. 

'of Madura . . , 

We realize tn you a living example of the Hindu Sannyasi, who 
renouncing all worldly ties and attachments calculated to lead to 
the gratification of the self, in worthily engaged in the noble 
duty of living for others ^and endeavouring to rsise the spiritttal 
condition of mankind. Yon hove demonstrated in your own 
person that the true essence of the Hindu Religion is not neces- 
sarily bound tip with the rules and rituals, but it ts en^lifis 
•philosophy capabde of gi'ving peace and solace to the distressed 
and afflicted. 

You have taught America and England to admire that philo- 
i>ophy and thaft religion which ^eeks to elevate «very man in the 
best -manner suited to his capacities and environiBeBts, Al- 
though your teachings have for the last three years been delivered 
in and from foreign lands they have not been the less eagerly 
devoured in this country «nd they hare iiot a little tended to 
counteract the growing materialism imported from a foreign soil. 

India lives unto this day, for it has a mission to fulfil in the 
•ppiritual ordering of the universe ; the appearance of a soul like 
vou at the close of this cycle of the Kali Fuga is to us a sore 
i^ign of iihe incarnation in the near future of great souls through 
whom that mission ^hall be fulfilled. 

Madura, the ?eat of ancient learning, Madura the favoured 
citv of God SuRdareewara, the holy DwadasantaksheCram of Yogif, 


Iftgt "behind no other Indian city in its irarra admimiion of your 
exposition of Indian Philosophy and m its grateful sokoowledg-^ 
ments of your pricdess serf ices for himMNrity. 

We pray that you may te blessed with a long life of vigour 
and strength and osefalness. 

The Swami replied in the following terms : — 

I wish 1 comld live m your midst for several days, and 
fulfil the conditions that have jost been pointed out by 
your most worthy Chairman of relating to you my exper- 
iences in the West, and &ie result of all my labours for the 
last four year^ and so forth. Btit> unfortunately, even 
Swdmis have bodies ; and the continuous travelling and 
speaking that I have had to undergo for the last three 
weeks makes it impossible for me to make a very long 
speech, even this evening. I will therefore satisfy myself 
with thanking you very cordially for the kindness that has 
been shown to me and reserve other things for some day 
in the future, under better conditions of health, and when 
we have time to talk over more various subjects than we 
can do in so short a time this evening. One fact 
comes prominently to my mind just now, being in 
Madura, as the guest of one of your wdl-known citizens 
and nobleman, I allude to the Raja of Ramnad. Per- 
haps most of you are well aware that it was the 
Raja who first put the idea into my mind of going to 
Chicago, and it was he who all the time supported it with 
all his heart and influence ; and a good deal, therefore, of 
the praise that has been bestowed on me in this address 
ought to go to this very noble gentleman of Southern India. 
I only wish that instead of becoming a Raja he had become 
a Sannyasin, for that is what he is really fit for. 

Wherever there is anvthing required in some other part SpiHtuai 

idtasfhw M- 

ot the world the complement will find its way to the part to lands 
which it is going tq supply with new life. This is true in ^^^n/t^ 


the physical world, as well as in the spiritual. If there isH 

want of spirituality in one part of the world, and at the 

same time that spirituality exists any where else, whether 

we consciously struggle for it or not, that spirituality will 

find its way to the part where it is needed, and balance the 

disturbance. In the history of the human race, not once or 

twice, but again and again, it has been the destiny of the 

India of the past to supply spirituality to the world, and, 

India has as such, wc find that wherever either by mighty conquest 

^lasto'lL or by commercial supremacy, different parts of the world 

world's races j^^ye been kneaded into one whole race, and bequests have 

VfAen ever ' ^ ^ 

they met to- bccu made ffom one comer to the other, each nation, as it 
were, poured forth its own quota, either political, social, or 
spiritual. India's contribution to the sum-total of human 
knowledge has been spirituality, philosophy. These she 
contributed long even before the rising of the Persian 
Empire ; the second time was during the Persian Empire ; 
for the third time, during the ascendency of the Greeks ; for 
the forth time during the ascendency of the Enghsh, she is 
going to fulfil the same destiny once more* As Western 
ideas of organisation and external civilisation are penetra- 
7o day India ting and pouring into our couutry, whether we .will have 
^J^ stiri' ^^^^ ^^ ^^^f s^ Indian spirituality and philosophy are 
tuai ideas dclugiug the lauds of the West. None can resist it ; no 
^nough of the moro cau wc rcsist some sort of material civihsation by the 
^* IT w«7 West. A little, perhaps, is good for us ; a little spirituali- 
L^^^^^ sation is good for the West ; the balance will then be pre- 
of nations, served. It is not that we ought to learn everything from 
the West, or that they have to learn everytJiing from us, 
but each will have to supply what it has for future genera- 
tions, for the future accomplishment of that dream of ages, 
the harmony of nations, an ideal world. Whether that 
ideal world will ever come or not I do not know, whether 
that social perfection will ever be reached I have my own 


doubts ; but; whether it comes or not, each one of us will 
have to work for the idea as if it will come to-monow, 
and that it only depends on hi;?, and his work alone^ Each 
one of us will have to believe that every one else in the 
world has done his work, and the only one remaining is 
himself, and if that one does his work the world becomes _ . 

' Each oftr 

perfect. This is the responsibility we have to take upon f^ust worM 
ourselves. In the meanwhile in India there is a tremen- " *** 

dous revival of religion. There is a danger ahead, as well as 
glory, for, revival sometimes breeds fanaticism, sometimes 
goes to the extreme, so that many times it is not even in 
the power of those who rouse the revival to control it 
when it has gone to a certain length. It is better, there- 
fore, to be forewarned. We have to find our way between, brfoi^u^ 
on the one hand the Scylla of old superstitious orthodoxy, 
and on the other the Charybdis of materialism, of European- 
ism, of soullessness, of so-called reform which really has 
penetrated to the foundation of Western progress. These 
two have to be taken care of. In the first place we can- 
not become the Westerns, therefore imitating the West* j. vfreckks 
ems is useless. Suppose you can imitate the Westerns, ^^"^/'^^^ 
that moment you will die, you will have no more life. In makiusdea 
the second place it is impossible. A stream is taking its 
rise away, away beyond where time began, flowing through neither «r 
millions of miles of human history ; do you mean to get wftllhe 
hold of that stream, and push it back to its soutx^e, to a ^^^^^.^f 

^ t ; ** centuries. 

Himalayan glacier ? Even if that be possible it would not ^^^mdus. 
lie possible for you to be Europeanised. If you find it is 
impossible for the European to throw off the few centuries 
of culture which there is in the West> do you think it i* 
possible tor you to throw off the culture of shining scores 
of centuries ? It cannot be. Secondly, we must also re- 2. Local 
member that in every little village-god, and every little 7e^^tJkL 
superstitious custom is, that which we are accu^tomed to MReHgun 


Thi issenti' 
m& and hoH' 
tssintiab of 

tall our religious iaith. Local customs are infinite and con- 
tradictory ; which to obey, and which not to obey ? The 
Brahmin in Southern Indiai for instance, would shiiuk in 
horror at the sight of another Brihmin eating a bit of meat ; 
a Brihmin in the North thinks it a most glorious and holy 
thing to do — ^he kills goat» by the hundred in sacrifice. If 
you are ready with your custom, they are with theirs. 
Various are the customs all over India, but these are local , 
The greatest mistake is that ignorant people always think 
that this local custom is the essence of our religion. 

But beyond this there is a still greater difficulty. There 
are two sorts of truths we find in our Sastras, one that js 
based upon the eternal nature of man— the one that 
deals with the eternal relation of God and soul, and 
nature ; the other with local circumstance.^, enviroments^ 
of the time, social institutions of the period, and so forth. 
The first class of truths is chiefly embodied in our 
Yedas, our scriptures ; the second in the Smritis, the Pur^ 
anas, ete. We must remember that for all periods the 
Vedas are the final goal and authority, and if the Puranas 
difier in any respect from the Vedas that part of the Pu- 
ranas is to be rejected without mercy. Well then, what do 
we find, that in these Smritis all the teachings are difTer* 
ent. One Smriti says this is the custom, and this should 
be the practice of this age. The next comes and says thi» 
is the practice of this age, and so forth. This is the dchdra 
which should be the custom of the Satya Yuga^ and this is 
tHg and must the och^ra which should be the custom of the Kali Yuga^ 
tmdpkce. and SO forth. Now this is one of the most glorious 
doctrines that you have, that eternal truths, being based 
upon the nature of man, will never change as long as man 
lives, throughout all times, universal, omnipresent virtues. 
But the Smritis speak generally of local circumstances, di 
duties arising from different environments and they change 

tki Vedas^ 
thi latter in 
tkt Smritis, 

The non-ess- 
entiais have 


with the course of tinie. This you have always to remem- 
ber, not because. a Uttle social custom is going to be chang- 
ed that you are going to lose your religion, not at all. Re- 
member these customs have already been changed. There 
was a time in this very India when, without eating beef, no 
Brahmin could remain a Brahmin ; you read in Vedas how^ 
when a great Sannyasin, or king, or a great man, came into 
the house Ihey kill the goat and the bullock^ how it was 
found in time that we were an agricultural race, and killing 
the best bulls meant annihilation of the race. Therefore it 
was stopped, and the voice was raised against the killing of 
cows. I Sometimes we find that what we now consider the 
most horrible customs existed. Then in course of time 
other laws had to be made. These in turn will have to go,, 
and other Smritis will come. This is one fact we have to 
learn, that the Vedas will be one and the same throughout, 
but Smritis will have an end. As time rolls on, more and 
more of the Smritis will go. Sages will come, and they will 
change and direct society into better channels, into duties 
and into paths which are the necessity of the age, without 
which it is impossible that society can hve. Thus we have 
to guide our course, avoiding these two dangers, and I hope 
that every one of us here will have breadth enough, and at 
the same time faith enough, to understand what that means, 
that what I propose is inclusion of everything, and not ex- 
clusion. I want the intensity of the fanatic plus the exten- 
sity of the materialist. Broad as the ocean, deep as the 
infinite skies, that sort of heart we want. Let us be as pro- 
gressive as any nation that ever existed, and at the same 
time as faithful* and conservative towards our traditions as 
Hindus alone know how to be. In plain words, we have 
first to learn the distinction between the essentials and the 
non-essentials in everything. The essentials are eternal, 
the non-essentials have value only for a certain time, and if 



UhUss the after a time they are not replaced by something else they 
ais are chan- OTC positivclv dangcrous. I do Hot mean that you should 
Vonudanget^' Stand Up and revile all your old customs and institutions. 
***^- Certainly not ; you must not revile even the most evil one 

Dm't ahmse ^^ them. Revile none ; even those customs that are now 
^*^» ^^^ appearing to be positive evils have been positively life- 
trvedour giving in times past, and if we have to remove these, we 
^^^' must not do so with curses, but with blessings aftd gratitude 

for the glorious work these customs have done for the pre- 
servation of our race. And we must also remember that 
the leaders of our societies have never been either gen3rals 
Rishu, the Q^ kings, but Rishis, and who are the Rishis ? The Rishi is 
Society. a man who sees religion, to whom religion is not merely 
book learning, not argumentation, nor speculation, nor much 
talking, but actual realisation, coming face to face with 
truths which transcend the senses, as he is called in the 
Upanishads, not as ordinary man, but Mantra draskta, and 
this is Rishihood, and that Rishihood does not belong to 
any age, or time, or even to sects or caste. Vats5r&yana 
says truth must be realised — and we have to remember that 
Thai, every you, and I, and everyouc of us will be called upcHi to become 
must became. Rishis, and wc must get faith in ourselves, we must be 
world-movers for everything is in us. We must see Reli- 
gion face to face, experience it, and thus solve our doubts 
about it, and then standing up in the glorious light of 
Rishihood each one of us will be a giant and every word 
falling from our lips will carry behind it that infinite sanc- 
tion of security, and before us evil will vanish by itself, 
without the necessity of cursing any one, without the neces- 
sity of abusing an yone, without the necessity of fighting 
anyone in the world. May the Lord help us, each one of 
us here, to reahse the Rishihood for our own, and for the 
salvation of others. 

While in Madura the Swami paid a visit to the 


Temple, which is regarded as one of the finest in India, 
and is remarkable for its wealth of architectural detail, 
and in the evening took train for Kumbakonam by the 
South Indian Railway. At every station at which the 
train stopped crowds of people were in waiting, and at 
Trichlnopoly in particular at 4 o'clock in the morning 
there were over a thousand people on the platform, who 
presented the following address : — 


Address of 

Venerable Swami,— aecuixens 

of Trkhm: 
We the citizens of Trichinopoly offer you our sincere^t rea- pofy* 

pects. Great were our hopes of having thy worthy self, India's 

invaluable gem, amongst us for a day, and our only consolation is 

that what is our loss is Madrases gain. 

Children oE God, religiously great are the greatest of all 
human beings, and we need hardly say how thankful we are that 
our Heavenly Father has seen fit to hless us with your noble self. 

There is no doubt at all that mother India will amply reward 
you for the fair fame and name you have cmmed for her. The 
praises of Hindu Theology are beard in every nook and corner of 
the mighty British Empire. 

May the Almighty Father reward you for all your labours, 
and may this fiame of enthusiasm you have kindled in ourselves 
and in the glorious American nation bum for ever and eternally. 

We beg to remain. Venerable Swami, 

Trichinopoly 1 Your most obedient 

2nd February, 1897. J servants. 

Addresses were also presented from the Council of 
the National High School, Trichinopoly, and the student 
population of Trichinopoly. 

The reply was necessarily brief. There was a simi- 
larly large demonstration at Tanjore at four o'clock the 
same morning. 



This visit to Kumbhakonam was taken advantage of 
•to rest for three days, duing which time the Swami was 
presented with two addresses. The first of these was to 
the following effect : — 

idr ess from ^^ ^ 

^.Hindus Revered SwAMiN,— 

J^oha- ^^ behalf of the Hindu inhabitants of this ancient and reli- 

giously important town of Kuinbhakonam we request permission 
to olYer yoa a most hearty welcome on your return from the 
Western World to our own holy land of great temples and famous 
saints and sages. We are highly thankful to God for the rem'irk- 
able success of your religious mission in America and in Europe, 
and for His having enabled you to impress upon the choicest re- 
presentatives of th'^ world's great religions assembled at Chicago 
that both Hindu Philosophy and Religion are so broad and so 
rationally catholic as to have in them the |>ower to exalt and to 
harmonise' all ideals of God and of human spirituality. 

The conviction that the cause of Truth is always safe in the 
hands of Him who is the life and soul of the universe has been for 
thousands of years part of our living faith ; and if to-day we re- 
joice at the results of your holy work in Christian lands, it is be- 
cause the eyes of men in and outside India are thereby being 
opened to the inestimable value of the Spiritual heritage of the 
pre-emineuihj religious Hirtcu nation. The success of your work 
has naturally added j^reat lustre to the already renowned name oi 
your great Oitru ; it has also raised us in the estimation of the 
civilised world ; more than all, it has made us feel that we too, as 
a people, have reasons to be proud of the achievements of our 
pa^'t, and that the absence of telling aggressiveness in our civihsa- 
tion is in no way a sign of its exhausted or decaying condition. 
With clear sighted, devoted, and altogether unselfish workers like 
you in our midst, the future of the Hindu nation cannot but be 
bright and hopeful. May the God in the universe who is also 
tlie great God of all nations bestow on you health and long life, 
and make you increasingly strong and wise in the discharge of 
your high and noble function as a worthy teacher of Hindu Reli- 
gion and Philosophy. 


The Second address was from the Hindu students of 
the town. 

The Swami dehvered a very able address on Vedan- 
tism, ot which a report follows : — 

^' A very small amount of religious work performed 
brings a very large amount of result "—are the eternal 
words of the author of the GUd, and if that statement 
wanted an illustration, in my humble life I am finding 
everj'da}" the truth of that great saying. My work, gen- 
tlemen of Kumbhakonam, has been very insignificant 
indeed, but the kindness and the cordiality of w^elcome 
that have met me at every step of my journey from ^f/^^J^f^ 
Colombo to this city are simply beyond all expectation, /A? /i/e-^rin 
Yet, at the same time, it is worthy of our traditions as %nZs 
Hindus, it is worthy of our race ; for here we are the 
Hindu race, whose vitahty, whose life-principle, whose 
very soul, as it were, is in religion. I have seen a little of 
the world, travelling among the racea of the West and the 
East ; and everywhere I find among nations one great 
ideal, which forms the backbone, so to speak, of that race. 
With some it is politics, with others it is social culture ; 
others again have intellectual culture and so on for their 
national back-ground. But this, our mother-land, has reli- 
gion and religion alone for its basis, for its backbone,. for 
the bedrock upon which the whole building of its lile has 
been based. Some of you may remember that in my 
reply to the kind address which the people of Madras sent 
over to me in America, I pointed out the fact that a 
peasant in India has, in many respects, a better rehgious 
education than many a gentleman in the West, and to-day, 
be)'^ond all doubt, I myself am verifying my own w^ords. 
There was a time when I would feel rather discontented 
at the want of information among the masses of India, 
and the lack of thirst among them for information, but 



iK>w I understand it. Where their interest lies they are 
more eager for information than the masses of any other 
race that I have seen or have travelled among. Ask otir 
peasants about the momentous political changes in Europe^ 
the upheavals that are going on in Europeoan society. 
They do not know anything of these, nor do they care to 
know ; but those very peasants, even in Ceylon, detached 
from India in many ways, cut off from a living interest in 
India— I found the very peasants working in the fields 
there, had already known that there was a Parliament of 
Religions in America, and that one of their men had gone, 
over there and that he had had some success. Where, 
therefore, their interest is, there they are as eager for in- 
formation as au}^ other race ; and religion is the one and 
the sole interest of the people in India. I am not just 
now discussing whether it is good to have the vitality of 
the race in religious ideals or in political ideals, but so far 
it is clear to us, that for good or for evil our vitality is con* 
nd it can- ccntratcd in our religion. You cannot change it. You 
LT^. ' cannot destroy one thing and put in its place another. 
You cannot transplant a large growing tree from one soil 
to another and make it immediately take root here. For 
good or tor evil the religious ideal has been flowing into 
India for thousands of years, for good or evil the Indian 
atmosphere has been filled with ideals of religion for shin* 
ing scores of centuries, for good or evil we have been 
born and brought up in the very midst of these ideals of 
religion, till it has entered into our very blood, and tingles 
with every drop of it in our veins, and has become oae 
with our constitution, become the very vitality of our lives. 
Can you give such religion up without the rousing of the 
same energy in reaction, without filling the channel which 
that mighty river has cut out for itself in the course of 
thousands of years ? Do you want that the Ganges should 


go back to its icy bed and begin a new coarse ? Even if 
that were possible, it would be impossible for this country ^7^^«^ 
to give Hp her characteristic course of religious life and take reUgum, the 
up a new career of politics or something else for herself. r^^is%ncT/ 
You can only work under the law of least resistence, and 
this religious line is the line of least resistance in India. 
This is the line of life, this is the line of growth, and this 
is the line of well-being in India — to follow the track of 
religion. Aye, in other countries religion is only one of 
the many necessities in life. To use a common illustra- 
tion which I am in the habit of using, my lady has many 
things in her parlour, and it is the fashion now-a-days to 
have a Japanese vase, and she must procure it ; it does 
not look well without it. So my lady, or my gentleman, 
has many other occupations in life ; a little bit of religion 
also must come in to complete it. Consequently she has a ^fj^^'^,^ 
little religion. Politic9,social improvement, in one word, ^J^^'^J' 
this world, is the goal of the rest of mankind, and God and the other 
religion come in quietly as the helpers out of the world. ^^'^' 
Their God is, so to speak, the being who helps to cleanse 
and to famish this world of ours ; that is apparently all 
the value of God for them. Do you not know how for 
the last hundred or two hundred years you have been hear- 
ing again and again out of the lips of men who ought to 
have known better, from the mouths of those who pre- 
tend, at least, to know better that all the arguments they 
produce against this Indian religion of ours is this, that 
our religion does not conduce to well-being In this world, 
that it does not bring to us handfuls of gold, that it does not 
make robbers of nations, that it does not make the strong 
stand upon the bodies of the weak, and feed themselves 
with the life-blood of the weak. Certainly our religion 
does not do that. It cannot march cohorts, under whose 
feet tlie earth trembles, for the purpose of destruction and 


Truth not in 
his world but 
'^eyond it ; 

ind it is 
reached not 
hut through 

pillage and the ruination of races. Therefore they say-^ 
what is there in this religion ? It does not bring any 
grist to the grinding mill, any strength to the muscles ; 
what is there in such a religion ? They little dream that 
that is the very argument with which we prove our reli- 
ion because it does not make for this world. Ours is the 
only true religion because this little sense-world of three 
days duration is not to be according to it, the end and 
aim of all, is not to be our great goal. This little earthly 
horizon of a few feet is not that which bounds the view 
of our religion. Ours is away beyond, and still beyond ; 
beyond the senses, beyond space, and beyond time, away 
away beyond, till nothing of this world is left there and 
the universe itself becomes like one drop in the transcen- 
dent ocean of the glory of the soul. Ours is the true 
religion because it teaches that God alone is true, and that 
this world is false and fleeting, and that all. your gold is 
dust, and that all your power is finite, and that life itself 
is often times an evil ; therefore it is. that ours is the true 
religion. Ours is the true religion, because, above all, it 
teaches renunciation, and stands up with the wisdom of 
ages to tell and to declare to the nations who are mere 
children of yesterday in comparison with the hoary anti- 
quity of the wisdom that our ancestors have discovered 
for us here in India — to tell them in plain words, " Child- 
ren, you are slaves of the senses ; there is only finiteness 
in the senses, there is only ruination in the senses ; the three 
short days of luxury here bring only ruin at last. Give it 
all up, renounce the love of the senses and of the world ; 
that is the way of religion." Through renunciation is the 
way to the goal and not through enjoyment. Therefore, 
ours is the only true religion. Aye, it is a curious fact that, 
while nations after nations have come upon the stage of 
the world, played their parts vigorously for a few 


moments^ and died almost without leaving a mark or 

a ripple on the ocean of time, here we are living, 

as it were an eternal life. They talk a great deal 

of the new theories about the survival of the fittest, 

and they think that it is the strength of the muscles 

which is the fittest to survive. If that were true, any 

one of the aggressively known old-world nations would 

have lived in glory to-day, and we, the weak Hindus— an 

English young lady once told me, what have the Hindus 

done ? they never even conquered one single race I — even 

this raoe, which never conquered even one other race or 

nation, hves here three hundred million strong. And it is 

not at all true that all its energies are spent, that atrophy 

has seized upon every bit of its body ; that is not true. 

There is vitality enough, and it comes out in torrents and 

deluges when the time is ripe and requires it. We have, 

as it were, thrown a challenge to the whole world from 

the most ancient times. In the West they are trying to 

solve the problem how much a man can possess, and we 

are trying here to solve the problem on how little a man 

can live. This struggle and this difference has to go on 

still for some centuries. But if history has any truth in it, 

and if prognostications ever prove true, it must be that 

those who train themselves to live on the least supply of 

things and to control themselves well will in the end gain 

the battle, and that all those who run after enjoyment and 

luxurj% however vigorous they may seem for the moment, 

will have to die and become annihilated. There are times The world 

in the history of a man's life, nay, in the history of the lives ^/^"ww 

of nations, when a sort of world-weariness becomes pain- ^^^^^^^^^ 

' . ^ onfy by th 

fully predommant. It seems that such a tide of world- Vedanta^ 
weariness has come upon the Western World. There too 
they have their thinkers, great men ; and they are already 
finding out that it is all vanity of vanities, this race after 



gold and power ; many, nay most, cultured men and wo- 
men there^ are already weary of this oompetitkm, this 
struggle, tliia brutality of their commeicial dnlisation, and 
they are looking forward towards something better. There 
is a class which still clings on to political and social 
changes as the only panacea for the evils in Europe, but 
among the great thinkers there, other ideab are growing. 
They have found out that no amount of political or social 
manipulation of human conditions can core the evils of 
life. It is a change of the soul itself for the better that 
alone will cure the evils of life. No amount ot foroe, or 
government, or legislative crueltj^ will change the condi- 
tions of a race, but it is spiritual culture and ethical culture 
alone that can change wrong racial tendencies for the bet- 
ter. Thus, these races of the West are eager for some new 
thought, for some new philosophy ; the religion they have 
had, Christianity, although imperfectly understood and 
good and glorious in many respects, is as understood hi- 
therto found to be insufficient. The thoughtful men of 
the West find in our ancient philosophy, especially in 
the f^eddnta,ihe new impulse of thought they are seeking, 
the very spiritual food and drink thej' are hungering and 
thirstng for. And it is no wonder. 

I have become used to hear all sorts of wonderful 
claims put forward in favour of every religion under the 
sun. You have also heard, quite within recent times, claims 
put forward in favour of Christianity by a great friend 
of mine. Dr. Barrows, that Christianity is the only univers- 
al religion. Let me consider this question awhile and lay 
^^danfa before you my reasons why I think that it is the Veddntdf 

one IS the "^ "^ -' 

nwersai re- and the Veddftta, alone that can become the tmiversal 

^^nk^ni, religion of man, and that none else is fitted for that role. 

Excepting our own, almost all the other great religions ia 

the v/orld are inevitably connected with the life or lives of 

Me or more founders. All their theories, their teachings, Z"; '^ «/^* 

' ° ' not rest OH 

their doctrines, and their ethics are built round the life of the historic 
a personal founder from whom they get their sanction, /cutJer^ 
their authority, and their power ; and strangely enough 
upon the historicality of the founder's life is built, as it 
were, all the fabric of such religions. If there is one blow 
dealt to the historicaUty of that life as has been the case 
in modem times with the lives ot almost all the so-called 
founders of reUgion — we know that half of the details of 
such Uves is not now seriously believed in and that the 
other half is seriously doubted — if this becomes the case, if 
that rock of historicality, as they pretend to call it, is sha- 
ken and shivered, the whole building tumbles down bro- 
ken absolutely, never to regain its lost status. Everyone 
of the great religions in the world excepting our own, is 
built upon such historical characters : but ours rest upon . 

'^ ' ^ but OH ink 

principles. There is no man or woman who can claim to naiandnm 
have created the Vedas. They are the embodiment of ^c^puswhic, 
eternal principles ; sages discovered them ; and now and JJI^^iwT^ 
then the names of these sages are mentioned, just their <»^^^/ 
names ; we do not even know who or what they were. 
In many cases we do not know who their fathers were, 
and almost in every case we do not know when and where 
they were born. But what cared they, these sages, for 
their names ? They were the preachers of principles, and 
they themselves, as far as they went, tried to become 
illustrations of the principles they preached. At the same 
time, just as our God is an impersonal and yet a personal 
God, so is our religion a most intensely impersonal one, a 
reUgion based upon principles, and yet it has an infinite . . 
scope for the play of persons ; for what religion gives you sonatas n 
more incarnations, more prophets and seers, and still '^carna^wm 
waits for infinitely more ? Says the Bhagavad-GUd that 
Incarnations are infinite, leaving ample scope for as many 





'e Vetianta 
m hay- 
my with 


as you like to cx)me. Therefore if any one or more of 
these persons in India's rehgious history, any one or more 
of these Incarnations, and any one or more of our pro 
phets sire proved not to have been historical, it does 
not injure our religion a bit ; even then it remains 
there firm as ever, because it is based upon prindples, 
and not on persons. li is vain to try to gather all 
the peoples of the world around a single personality. 
It is difficult to make them gather together even 
round eternal and universal principles. If it ever becomes 
possible to bring the largest portion of humanity to one 
way of thinking in regard to religion, mark j'ou, it must be 
always through principles and not through persons. Yet, 
as I have said, our religion has ample scope for the author- 
ity and influence of persons. There is that most wonder- 
ful theory of Ishta, which gives you the fullest and the 
freest choice possible among these great religious person- 
alities. You may take up any one of the prophets or tea- 
chers as your guide and the object of your special adora-* 
tion ; you are even allowed to think that he whom you have 
chosen is the greatest of the prophets, greatest of all the 
Avatdras ; there is no harm in that, but you must keep on 
a firm background of eternally true principles. The 
strange fact is here, that the power of our Incarnations ha3 
been holding good with us only so far as they are illustra- 
tions of the principles in the Vedas. The glory of Sri 
Krishna is that he has been the best preacher of our eternal 
religion of principles and the best commentator on the 
Veddnia that ever lived in India. 

The second claim of the Veddnta upon the attention 
of the world is that, of all the scriptures in the world, it is 
the one scripture the teaching of which is in entire har- 
mony with the results that have been attained by the 
modern scientific inve.-tigations of external nature. Two 


minds in the dim past of history, cognate to each other in 
form and kinship, and sympathy, started, being placed in 
different routes. The one was the ancient Hindu mind 
and the other the ancient Greek mind. The latter started 
in search of that goal beyond by analysing the external 
world. The former started by analysing the internal . , . . 

Afto/vsts of 

world. And even through the various vicissitudes of their the Extema 
history it is easy to make out theee two vibrations of Method of 
thoughts tending to produce similar echoes from the goal J^^^?^ 
beyond. It seems clear that the conclusions of modem inumai 
materialistic science can be acceptable, harmoniously with method of 
their religion, only to the VedAntins^ or Hindus as they ^'^^'^ 
call them. It seems clear that modem materialism can 
hold its own and at the saime time approach spirituality by 
taking up the conclusions of the Veddnia. It seems to us, 
and to all who care to know, that the conclusioiis of 
modem science are the very conclusions the Veddnta reach- 
ed ages ago ; only in modem science they are \vTitten in 
the language of matter. This, then, is another claim of 
the Veddnta upon modern Western minds, its rationality, 
the wonderful rationalism ot the Veddnta. I have myself 
been told by some of the best sdentific minds of the day 
in the West how wonderfully rational the' conclusions of 
the Veddnta are. I know one of them personally who 
scarcely has time to eat his meals, or go out of his labor*- 
atory, and who yet would stand by the hour to attend my 
lectures on the Vedd'ita ; for, as he expresses it, they are 
so scientific, they so. exactly harmonise with the aspira- 
tions of the age and with the conclusions which modern j^l^'^^ 
science is coming to at the . present time. Two such scien- ««< '^ 
tific conclusions drawn from Comparative Religion, I would of religion, 
specially like to draw your attention to ; the one bears ^arative*^^ 
upon the idea of the universality of religions and the other ^^%<^« 
on the idea of the oneness of things. We observe in canstHuu 


the histories of Babylon and among the Jews an interest* 
ing religious phenomenon happening. We find that each 
of these Babylonian and Jewish peoples were divided into 
so many tribes, each tribe having a god of its own, and 
that these little tribal Gods had often a generic name. 
The gods among the Babylonians were all called Baal^i 
and among them Baal Merodac was the chief. In oour^ 
of time one of these many tribes would conquer and aui- 
milate the other racially allied tribes, and the natural result 
would be that the God of the conquering tribe would le 
placed at the head of all the gods of the other tribes. 
Thus the so-called boasted monotheism of the SemiUs 
was created. Among the Jews the gods went by tie 
name of Moloch. Of these there was one Moloch which 
belonged to the tribe caHed Israel, and he was called tl e 
Moloch Yahva, or Moloch Yava. Then this tribe of Israel 
slowly conquered some of the other tribes of the same 
race, destroyed their Molochs, and declared its own Moloch 
to be the Supreme Moloch of all the Molochs, And I am 
sure most of you know the amount of bloodshed, of t}nran« 
ny, and of brutal savagery that this religious conquest 
entailed. Later on the Babylonians tried to destroy this 
supremacy of Moloch Yahva, but could not succeed. It 
seems to me tliat suck an attempt at tribal self-assertion 
m religious matters might have taken place on the frontiers 
of India also. Here too all the various tribes of the 
Aryans might have come into conflict with one another 
for declaring the supremacy of their several tribal gods ; but 
India's history was to be otherwise, was to be diflFerent 
from that of the Jews. India was to be alone the land, of 
all lands of toleration and of spirituality, and therefore 
the fight between tribes and their gods did not take place 
long here, for one of the greatest sages that was ever bom 
anywhere found out here in India even at that distant 


i time, which history cannot reach — ^tradition itself dares 
J not to peep into the gloom of that past when the sage 
3 arose — and declared, " He who exists is one ; the sage i call ^^^ ^^J^ 
■ Him varionsly" — Ekam sat vipra bahtidha vadanti : ^^^ natiom 
^. one of the most memorable sentences that was ever 
i irttered, one of the grandest of truths that was ever 
^ discovered ; and for ns Hindus this truth has been the very 
' backbone of our national existence. For throughout the 
vistas of the centuries of our national life this one idea 
I Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti, comes down, gaining in 
volume and in fulness till it has premeated the whole of 
i our national existence, till it is mingled in our blood, and 
has become one with us in every grain. We love that 
grand truth in every grain and our country has become 
the glorious land of religious toleration. It is here and Reiigtous to- 
h;re alone that they build temples and churches for the be/^n/in 
religions which have come in with the object of condemn- jJj^'^'J^X- 
fag our own reKgion. This is one very great principle ^^^re. 
that the world is waiting to learn from ns. Aye, you iittle 
know how much of intolerance is yet abroad. It struck 
me more than once that I woaid have to leave my bones 
on foreign shores owing to the prevalence of religious in« 
tolerance. Killing a man is nothing for religion's sake ; 
to-morrow they may do it in the very heart of the boasted 
civilisation of the West, if today they are not really doing 
80. Outcasting in its most horrible forms would often 
come down upon the head of a man in the West, if he 
dared to say a word against his country's accepted religon. 
They talk glibly and smoothly here in criticism of our 
caste laws. If you go to the West and live there as I 
have done, you will know that even the biggest profes- 
Bors you hear of are arrant cowards and dare not to tell, 
for fear of public opinion, a hundredth part of what they 
hold to be really true in religious matters* 

7 hi world 
wants from 
India the 
grand idea 
of the sfnrtt' 
tual oneness 
of the Uni- 


Thetefore the world is waiting for - this gracfd idea of 
tinivers^l toleration. It will be a great acquisition to civil- 
isation. Nay^ DO civilisation can exist long unless this 
idea enters it. No civilisation can go on growing before 
fanaticism stops and bloodshed stops and brutality stops. 
No civilisation can begin to lift up its head until we look 
charitably upon each other, and the first step towar4s 
that much needed charity is to look charitably and kindly 
upon the religious convictions of each other. J^ay more, 
to understand that; not only should we be charitable to- 
wards each other, but positively helpful to «ch other, 
however different our religious ideas and' convictions may 
be. And that ia exactly what .we in India do, as I have 
just related to you. It is hei^ in. India that Hindus have 
built and are still buUding churches tor Christians, and 
mosques for Mahomedans. That is the thing to do. In 
spite of their hatred, in spite of their brutality, in spiteof 
their cruelty, in spite of their tyranny, and in spite ^f the 
filthy language they are always given to. uttering, we will 
and must go on building ehurches for the Chrstians and 
mosques for the Mahommedans till we conquer through 
love, till we have demonstrated to the world that love 
alone is the fittest thing to survive and not hatred, that 
it is gentleness that has the strength to live on and tQ 
fructify but not mere brutality and physical force. 

The other great idea that the world wants from us to* 
day, the thinking part of Europe and the whole world- 
more, perhaps, the lower classes than the higher, more the 
masses than the cultured, more the ignorant than theedu' 
cated, more the weak than the strong — is that eternal grand 
idea of the spiritual oneness of the whole universe. I need not 
tell you to-day, men from this Madras University, how the 
modern researches of Europe have demonstrated through 
physical means the oneness and the solidarity of tjie whole 


universe, how, physically speaking, you and I, the sun and 
the moon and the stars, aie but little waves or wavelets in 
the midst of an infinite ocean of matter, and how Indian 
psychology had demonstrated ages ago that, similarly, both 
body and mind are but mere names or little wavelets in 
the ocean of matter, the Samashti, and how, going one 
step further, it is shown in the Vedanta that, behind that 
idea of the unity of the whole show, the real soul is also 
one. There is but one soul throughouc the universe, all is 
but one existence. This great idea of the real and basic 
solidarity of the whole universe has frightened many, even 
in this ooimtry ; it even now finds sometimes more oppo- 
nents than adherents ; I tell you, nevertheless, that it is the 
one great life-giving idea which the world want3 from us 
to-dav and which the mute masses of India want for their 
uplifting, for none can regenerate this land of ours without 
the practical application and effective operation of this 
ideal of the oneness of things. The rational West is .earr 
nestly bent upon seeking out the rationality, the raison 
d'etre of all its philosophy audits ethics ; and you all is the only 
know well that ethics cannot be derived from the mere Zora^. ^ 
sanction of any personage, however great . and divine he 
may have been, of one who having been born but yester- 
day has had to die a few minutes after. Such an explan- 
ation of the authority of ethics no more appeals to the 
highest of the world's thinkers ; they want something 
more than human sanction for ethical and moral codes to 
be binding, they want some eternal principle of truth as 
the sanction of ethics. And where is that eternal sanc- 
tion to be found except in the only infinite reality that 
exists, in j^'ou and in me and in all, in the self, in the soul ? 
The infinite oneness of the soul is the eternal sanction of 
all morality, that you and I are not only brothers — even 
literature voicing man's struggle towards freedom, children 



wants H i(h 




ihave preached that for you— but that you and 1 are really 
.one. This is the dictate of Indian philosophy. This one- 
ness is the rationale of all ethics and all spiritualit3\ Europe 
wants it to-day just as much as our down trodden masses 
do, and this great principle is even now unconsciously 
foirming the basis of all the latest political and social aspir- 
ations that are coming up in England, in Germany, in 
France, and in America. And mark it, my friends, that 
in and through all the literature voicing man's struggle 
towards freedom, towards universal freedom, again and 
again yon find the Indian Vedantic ideals coming out pro- 
minently. In some cases the writers do not know the so- 
urce of their inspiration, in some cases they try to appear 
very original, and a lew there are bold and grateful enough 
to mention the source and acknowledge their indebtedness 
to it. My friend?*, when I was in America, I heard it once 
complained that I was preaching too much of Advaitdf 
and too little of dualism. Aye, I know what grandeur, 
what oceans of love, what infinite, ecstatic blessings and 
joy there are in the dualistic love-theories of worship and 
religion. I know it all. But thi-* is not the time with us 
to weep even in joy ; we have had weeping enough ; no 
more is this the time for us to become soft. This softness 
has been on us till we are dead ; we have become like 
masses of cotton. What our country now wants are mus- 
cles of iron and nerves of steel, gigantic wills which noth^ 
ing can resist, which can penetrate into the mysteries and 
the secrets of the universe, and will accomplish their pur- 
pose even if it meant going down to the bottom of the 
ocean and meeting death face to face in every fashion. 
That is what we want, and that can only be created, es* 
tablished and strengthened, by understanding and realis- 
ing the ideal of the Advaita, that ideal of the oneness of 
all. Faith, faith, faith in ourselves, faith, faith in God) 


his is the secret of greatness. If j'ou have faith in all the 
hree hundred and thirty millions of your mythological 
joda and in all the gods which foreigners have now and 
igain sent into your midst, and still have no faith in your- .^ 

selves, there is no salvation for 3^ou. Have faith in your- teacius omi" 
selves, and stand up on that faith and be strong ; that is ^th^^and 
what we need. Why is it that we three hundred and ^"^l^J^ ^'"' 
thirty millions of people have been ruled for the last one 
thousand years by any and every handful of foreigners 
who chose to walk over our prostrate bodies ? Because 
the\^ had faith in themselves and we had not. What did 
I learn in the West, and what did I see behind those talks secnt of 
of frothy nonsense of the Christian religious sects saying ^^1^^ 
that man was a fallen and hopelessly fallen sinner ? There, 
inside the national hearts of both Europe and America, re- 
sides the tremendous power of the men's faith in themsel- 
ves. An English boy will tell you — " I am an English- 
man, and I will do anything." The American boy will 
tell you the same, and so will every European boy. Can 
our boys say the same thing here ? No, nor even the 
bo5'S* fathers. We have lost faith in ourselves. Therefore 
to preach the Advaita aspect of the Vedania is necessary 
to rouse up the hearts of men, to show them the glory of ^^ ^^^ 

is Hfcessuty 

their souls. It is therefore that I preach this Advaita, and to raise ms . 
I do so not as a sectarian but upon universal and widely ^^^^^'' 
acceptable grounds. 

It is easy to find out the way of reconciliation that 
will not hurt the duahst or the qualified monist. There is 
not one system in India which does not hold the doctrine ^^^'^^^^ 

'' doctrine nOi 

that God is within, that divinit}*^ resides within all things', irreconctia- 

A/ '4k *It 

Every one of our Veda?itic systems admits that all purity other systet 
and perfection and strength are in the soul already. Ac- 
cording to some this perfection sometimes becomes, as it 
were, contracted, and at other time.-? it becomes expanded 


^ho is res- 
V present 
oliiKal and 
on t 

7e alone. 

tr treat' 
eiU 4)f 
e masses 
s driven 
? sense of 
t of them. 

jlgain. Yet it is there. According to the Advaita it nei- 
ther contracts nor expands, but becomes hidden and un- 
covered now and again. Pretty much the same thing in 
effect. The one may be a more logical statement than the 
other, but as to the result, the practical conclusions^ both 
are about the same ; and this is the one central idea which 
the world stands in need of, and nowhere is the want more 
felt than in this, our own mother-land. Aye, my friends, 
I must tell you a tew harsh words. I read in the news- 
papers, when one of our poor fellows is murdered or ill-tre- 
ated by an Englishman, how the howls go all over the 
country ; I read and I weep, and the next moment comes 
to my mind the question who is responsible for it all. As 
a Vedaiilist I cannot but put that question to myself. 
The Hindu is a man of introspection, he wants to see 
things in and through himself, through the subjective vision. 
I therefore ask myself who is responsible, and the answer 
comes every time, not the English ; no, they are not res- 
ponsible ; it is we who are responsible for all our misery 
and all our degradation, and we alone are responsible. 
Our aristocratic ancestors went on treading the common 
masses of our country under foot, till they became help- 
less, till under this torment the poor, poor people nearly 
forgot that they were human beings. They have been 
compelled to be merely hewers of wood and drawers of 
water for centuries, so much so that they are made to be- 
lieve that they are born as slaves, born as hewers of wood 
and drawers of water. And if anybody says a kind word 
for them, with all our boasted education of modern times, 
I often find our men shrink at once from the duty of lift- 
ing up the down-trodden. Not only so, but I also find 
that all sorts of most demoniacal and brutal arguments, 
culled from the crude ideas of hereditary transmission and 
other such gibberish from the Western world, are brought 



forward in order to brutalise and tyrannise over the poor 
all the more. In the Parliament of Religions in America 
there came among others k young man, a Negro born, a 
real African Negro, and he made a beautiful speech 
I became interested in the young man, and now and then 
talked to him, but could learn nothing about him. But one 
day in England I met some Americans, and this is what 
they told me^-that this boy was the son of a Negro chief 
in the heart of Atrica, and that one day another chief be- 
came angry with the father of this boy and murdered him 
and murdered the mother also to be cooked and eaten 
and that he ordered the child also to be cooked and eaten ; 
but that the boy fled and after passing through great hard- 
ships travelling through a distance of several hundreds of ^^^^„y 
miles, he reached the sea-shore, and that there he was taken ^f^"/^ "?«' 

' ao for the 

into an American vessel and brought over to America. And masses, 
this boy made that speech I After that what was I to 
think of your doctrine of heredity ! Aye, Brahmins, If the 
Brahmin has more aptitude for learning on the ground of 
heredity than the Pariah, spend no more money on the 
Brahmin's education, but spend all on the Pariah. Give 
to the weak, for there all the gift is needed. If the Brah- 
min is born clever he can educate himself without help. 
If the others are not born clever, let them have all the 
teaching and the teachers they want. This is justice and li^/^X' 
and reason as I understand. These our poor people, there- Vedantk 
fore require to hear and to know what they really are — the divinity 
these downtrodden masses of India. Aye, let every man putf^e^ 
and woman and child, without respect of caste or birth or fi^ii^^^^^y^ 

'^ every soul, 

weakness or strength, hear and know that behind the 
strong and the weak, behind the high and the low, behind 
everyone, there is that Infinite Soul assuring the infinite 
possibility and the infinite capacity of all to become great 
^d good. Let us proclaim to every soul — Uttishlhata 


Jigyaldy pripya varan nibodhata—^^ Arise, awake and atop 
not till the goal is reached." Arise, awake ; awake from 
•this hypnotism of weakness. None is really weak ; the 
soul is infinite, omnipotent, and omniscient^ Stand up 
assert yourself, proclaim the God within you, do not deny, 
. Too much of inactivity, too much of weakness, too much 

una rouse -^ ^ ' 

the people to of hypnotism, has been and is upon our race. O ye mo- 
nc wty. ^^^^ Hindus, dehypnotise yourselves. The way to do 
that is found in your own sacred books. Teach yourselves, 
teach every one his real nature, call upon the sleeping soul 
to see how it rises. Power will come, glory will come, 
me^Jin^of S^^duess Will come, purity will come, and everything that 
SrtKrish' is excelleut will come when this sleeping soul is roused to 
^^g^ ^^^ '' self-conscious activity, Aye, if there is anything in the 
QUa that I like, it is these two verses, coming out strong 
aa the very gist, the very essence, of Krishna's teaching— 
" He who sees the Supreme Lord dwelling alike in all be- 
ings, the Imperishable in things that perish, sees indeed. 
For seeing the Lord as the same, everywhere present, he 
does not destroy the self by the self, and then he goes to 
the highest goal." 

Thus there is a great opening for the Vedanta to do 

beneficent work both here and elsewhere. This wonder* 

For the pro- f^j jj^^^ ^f ^.j^g gameness and omnipresence of the Supreme 

gress of the ^ ^ 

human rase, Soul has to be preached for the amelioration and eleva- 
e^ua/ity & tion of the human race, here as elsewhere. Wherevet 
^^inZ'^mmt there is evil and wherever there is ignorance and want of 
ie preached, knowledge, I have found out in my experience that a«, 
our scriptures say, all evil comes by relying upon differen- 
ces, and that all good comes from faith in equality, in the 
underlying sameness and real oneness of things. This is 
the great Vedanltc ideal. To have the ideal is one thing, 
and to apply it practically to the details of daily life is 
quite another thing in every case. It is very good tP 


point out an ideal, but where is the practical way to reach 
it ? Here naturally comes the difficult question which has 
been uppermost for centuries in the minds of our people, l^J'^^ 
the vexed question of caste and of social reformation. I 
must frankly let this audience know that I am neither a 
caste-breaker nor a mere social reformer. I have nothing 
to do directly with your castes or with your social refor- 
mation. Live in any caste you like, but that is no reason img^ 
why you should hate another caste or another man. It is 
love and love alone that I preach, and I base my teaching 
on the great Vedantic truth of the sameness and omni- 
presence of the Soul of the Universe. For the last one sodaiRe- 
hundred years nearly, our country has been flooded with fi^*^ « '^ 
social reformers and various social reform proposals^ Per- becaiut 
sonally I have no fault to find with these reformers. Most 
of them are good well-meaning men, and their aims too 
are very laudable on certain points ; but it is quite a patent 
fact that this one hundred years of social reform has pro- 
duced no permanent and valuable result appreciable 
throughout the country. Pl^tfoim speeches have been 
lent out by the thousand, denunciations have been hurled 
apon the devoted head of the Hindu race and its civilisa* 
ion in volumes after volumes and yet no good practical 
^sult has been achieved ; and where is the reason for that ? ^^^^^^^^ 
The reason is not hard to find. It is in the denunciation f«^ charact- 
tself. In the first place, as I told you before, we must try 
:o keep our historically acquired character as a people \ I 
prant that we have to take great many things from other 
lations, that we have to learn many lessons from outside ; 
3Ut I am sorry to say that most of our modern reform- 
aiovements have been inconsiderate imitations of Western 
means and methods of work, and that surely will not do for 
India ; therefore it is that all our recent reform-movements 
have had no result. In the second place^ denuiiciation 



:ed ike 

Our ideal 
yowth and 
expansion t<h- 
hilUr Hfe 
md greater 
J, along the 
ines laid 
lown by the 
mcient sages 

is not at all the way to do good. That there are e^ib 
in our society even the child can see, and what society ii 
there where there are no evils ? And let me take this op- 
portunity, my countrymen, of telling you that, in compar- 
ing the different races and nations of the world I have 
been among, I have come to the conclusion that our peo* 
pie are on the whole the most moral and the most highly 
godly and our institutions are, in their plan and purpose, 
best suited to make mankind happy. I do not therefore 
want any reformation. My ideal is growth, expansion, 
development on national lines. As I look back upon the 
history of my country I do not find in the whole world 
another country which has done quite so much for the 
improvement of the human mind. Therefore I have no 
words of condemnation for my nation. I tell them ''You 
have done well ; only try to do better." Great things have 
been done in the past in this land ; there is both time and 
room for greater things to be done. I am sure you know 
that we cannot stop. If we stop we die. We have either 
to go forward or to go backward. We have either to pro- 
gress or to degenerate. Our ancestors did great thmgsin 
the past but we have to grow into fuller life and march on 
even beyond their great achievements. How can we 
now go back and degenerate ourselves ? That cannot be ; 
that must not be ; going back will lead us to national 
decay and death. Therefore, let us go forward and do 
yet greater things ; that is what I have to tell you. I 
am no preacher of any momentary social reform. I am 
not trying to remedy evils, I only ask you to go forward 
and to complete the practical realisation of the scheme of 
human progress that has been laid out in the most perfect 
order by our ancestors. I only ask you to work to realise 
more and more the Vedaiitic ideal of the solidarity of 
man and his inborn divine nature. Had I the time I 


would gladly show you how every bit of what we have 
now to do was laid out years ago by our ancient law- 
givers, and how they actually anticipated all the different 
changes that have taken place and are still to take place 
in our national institutions. They also were breakers of 
caste, but they were not like our modern men. They did 
not mean by the breaking of caste that all the people in a 
dty should sit down together to a dinner of a beefsteak 
and champagne, nor that all fools and lunatics in the coun-r 
try should marry when, where and whom they chose, and 
reduce the country to a lunatic asylum, nor did they be- 
lieve that the prosperity of a nation, is to be guaged by the 
number of husbands its widows get. I am yet to see such 
a prosperous nation. The ideal man of our ancestors was Zan^wJ^tJU 
the Brahmin. In all our books stands out prominently ^^«^»»». 
this ideal of the Brahmin. In Europe there is my Lord 
the Cardinal who is struggling hard and spending thou- 
sands of pounds to prove the nobility of his ancestors, and 
^e will not be satisfied until he has traced his ancestry to 
some dreadful tyrant, who lived on a hill, and watched 
the people passing through the streets, and whenever he 
had the opportunity sprang out on them and robbed them. 
That was the business of these nobility-bestowing ances- 
tors, and my Lord Cardinal is not satisfied until he can 
trace his ancestry to one of these. In India, on the other 
hand, the greatest princes seek t(X trace their descent to 
some ancient sage, dressed in a bit bf loin-cloth, living in a 
forest, eating roots, and studying the Vedas. It is there 
that the Indian prince goes to trace his ancestry* Yau are 
of the High caste when you can trace your ancestry to a 
Rishi, and not before that. Our ideal of high birth, therefore, 
is different from that of others. Our ideal is the Brahmin 
of spiritual culture and renunciation. By the Brahmin 
ideal what do I mean ? The ideal Brahmiqne^s in which 



the emlodi- 
tnent ofun- 
and true 

There was 
only one 
caste^ the 
Brahmin^ in 
the Satya 

According to 
the law of 
cycles the 
world is 
again mot'ing 
towards this 
Heal brah- 

worldliness is altogether absent and true wisdom is abund- 
antty present. That is the ideal of the Hindu race. Have 
you not heard how it is declared that he, the BrahmiO; is 
not amenable to law, that he has no law, that he is not 
governed by kings, and that his body cannot be hurt ? 
That is perfectly true. Do not understand it in the light 
Avhich has been thrown upon it by interested and ignorant 
fools, but understand it in the light of the true and origin- 
al Veddntic conception. If the Brahmin is he who has 
killed all selfishness and who lives and works to acquire 
and to propagate wisdom and the power of love, a country 
that is inhabited by such Brahmins altogether, by men and 
women who are spiritual and moral and good, is it strange 
to think of that country as being above and beyond all law ? 
What police, what military are necessary to govern them ? 
Why should any one govern them at all ? Why should they 
live under a government ? They are good and noble, they 
are the men of God, these are our ideal Brahmins, and we 
read that in the Satya-Vuga there was only one caste to 
start with, and that was that of the Brahmin. We read in 
the Mahdbhdrata that the whole world was in the begin- 
ning peopled with Brahmins, and that as they began to de- 
generate they became divided into different castes, and 
that when the cycle turns round they w-ill all go back to 
that Brahminical origin. This cycle is uoav turning round, 
and I draw your attention to this fact. Therefore bur so- 
lution of the caste question is not degrading th6se who are 
already high up, is not running amuck through food and 
drink, is not jumping out of our own limits in order to 
have more enjoyment ; but it comes by every one of us 
fulfilling the dictates of our Veddiitic religion, by our at- 
taining spirituality and by our becoming the ideal Brah- 
min. There is a law laid on each one of you here in tbi« 
land by your ancestors whether you are Aryans, or nott- 


Axyans, Rishis, or Brahmins, or the very lowest out*castes. 
The command is the same to you all, and that you must 
not stop at all without making progress and that, from the 
highest man to the lowest Pariah, every one in this coun- 
try has to try and become the ideal Brahmin. This Vedantic 
idea is applicable not only here but over the whole world. ^^^ ^^ ^^ 
Such is our ideal of caste, meant for raising all humanity trm ideal of 
slowly and gently towards the reaUsation of that great 
ideal of the spiritual man who is non-resisting, calm, steady, 
worshipful, pure, and meditative. In that ideal there is 

How are these things to be brought about ? I must 
again draw your attention to the fact that cursing and _,. . 

This CUM Oi 

viUfying and abusing do not and cannot produce anything realized only 

good. They have been tried for years and years, and no nof hatred * 

valuable result has been obtained. Good results can be ^^^^^^' 

produced only through love, through sympathy. It is a 

great subject, and it requires several lectures to elucidate 

all the plans that I have in view, and all the ideas that are, 

in this connection, coming to my mind day after day. I 

must therefore conclude, only reminding you of this fact, 

that this ship of our nation, O Hindus, has been usefully 

plying here for ages. To-day, perhaps, it has sprung a 

few leaks ; to-day, perhaps, it has become a httle worn ; 

and if such is the case, it behoves you and I, children of 

the soil, to try our best to stop these leaks and holes. 

Let us tell our countymen of the danger, let them awake, 

let them mind it. I will cry at the top of my voice from 

one part to the other of this country to awaken the people 

to know their situation and their duty therein. Suppose 

they do not hear me, still I shall not have one word of 

abuse for them, not one word of curse. Great has been 

our nation's work in the past, and if we cannot do greater 

things in the future, let us have this consolation, let us all 


die and sink together in peace. Be patriots, love the race 
which has done such great things for us in the past. Aye, 
the more I compare notes the more I love you, my fellow- 
countrymen ; you are good and pure and gentle ; and you 
w»rk(UfiLd, have been always tjrrannised over ; such is the irony of 
this material world of Mdyd. Never mind that ; the spirit 
will triumph in the long run. In the meanwhile let us 
work and let us not abuse our coimtry, let us not curse 
and abuse the weather-beaten and work-worn institutions 
of our thrice-holy mother-land. Have not one word of 
condemnation, even for the most superstitious and the 
most irrational of its institutions, for they also must have 
served to do us good in the past. Remember always that 
there is not in the world one other country whose institu- 
tions are really better in their aims and objects than the 
institutions of this land. I have seen castes in almost every 
country in the world, but nowhere is their plan and pur- 
pose so glorious as here. If caste is thus unavoidable, I 
would rather have a caste of purity and culture and self- 
sacrifice than a caste of dollar. Therefore utter no words 
of condemnation. Close your lips and let your hearts open. 
Work out the salvation of this land and of the whole world, 
each of you thinking that the entire burden is on your 
shoulders. Carry the light and the life of the Vedcinta to 
every door and rouse up the divinity that is hidden within 
every soul. Then, whatever may be the measure of your 
success, you shall have this satisfaction, that you have 
lived, worked and died for a great cause. In the success of 
this cause, howsover brought about, is centred the salvation 
of humanity here and hereafter. 

£n route from Kumbhakonam to Madras the expe- 
riences of the previous journey from Madura were repea- 
ted. The citizens of Mayavaram met him on the station 
platform and presented him with an address. The platform 


as crowded. Mr. D. Natesa Aiyar read the following 
Idress : — 

To Srimat Swami Vivekananda. 

We, the citizens of Mayavaram, beg leave to approach you to 
press our humble gratitude and respect for the invaluable 
rvices } ou have rendered to our mother country by expounding 
e truths of Hinduism in countries abroad. We feel deeply on 
ii^ occaclion to express our sentiments of admiration and regard 
r you for the great and onerous work in the cause of our religion 
uniquely winning renown wherever you went. We are, Sir, 
Uy conscious of the great trouble and self-sacrifice this noble 
sk had caused you. We fervently pray that you may be long 
•ared in health and strength to continue this labour of love you 
ive so nobly undertaken. 

The Swami in reply thanked them in fitting terms. 
[e said he has not done anything great, and any body 
Ise would be better. Yet he was pleased to see that 
^en his small labour was being gratefully appreciated ; he 
ould be glad to visit Mayavaram on another occasion, 
he train moved ofif amidst great enthusiasm. 



A huge crowd met the train at Madras, and many 
thousand people took part in the procession which passed 
through no less than seventeen triumphal arches. For a 
part of the distance the horses were removed from the 
Swami's carriage, and he was drawn by the people to 
Castle Kernan, where he stayed during his visit. 

The address presented by the Madras Reception 
Committee on the Sunday following read as follows :— 

Revered Swamin.— . 

On behalf of your Hindu Coreligionists in Madras, we offtjr 
you a most hearty welcome on the occasion of your return from 
your Eeligious Mission in the West. Our object in approaching 
you with this address is not the performance of any merely for- 
mal or ceremonial function ; we come to ofPer you the love, of our 
hearts and to give expression to our feeling of thankfulness for 
the services which you, by the grace of God, have been able to 
render to the great cause of Truth by proclaiming India's ancient 
and lofty religious ideals. When the FarUament of Eeligions was 
organized at Chicago, some of our countrymen felt naturally anxi- 
ous that our noble and ancient religion should be worthily repre- 
sented therein and properly expounded to the American nation 
and through them, to the Western World at large. It was then 
our privilege to meet you and to realise once again, what has so 
often proved true* in the history of nations, that with the hour 
rises the man who is to help forward the cause of Truth. ~ When 
you undertook to represent Hinduism in the FarHament of Keligi' 
OQS, most of us felt, from what we had known of your great gifts, 
that the cause of Hinduism would be ably upheld by its represen- 
tative in that memorable religious assembly. Tour presentation 


of the doctrines of Hinduism at once clear, coi'i*ect, and authorita- 
tive not only produced a remarkable impression in the Parliament 
of Eeligions itself but has also led a number of men and women 
even in foreign lands to realise that out of the fountain of Indian 
spirituality refreshing draughts of immortal life and love may be 
taken, so as to bring about a larger, fuller and holier evolution of 
humanity than has yet been witnessed on this globe of ours* We 
are particularly thankful to you for having called the attention of 
the representatives of the World's Great Keligions to the charact- 
eristic Hindu doctrine of the Harmony and Brotherhood of Keligi- 
ons. No longer is it possible for really enlightened and earnest 
men to insist that Truth and Holinqss are the exclusive possessions 
of any particular locality or body of men or system of doctrine 
and discipline or to hold that any faith or philosophy will survive 
to the exclusion and destruction of all others. In your own happy 
language which brings out fully the sweet harmony in the heart 
of the Bhagavad Git& ** The whole world of religions is only a 
travelling, a coming up of different men and women through various 
conditions and circumstances to the same goal." Had you contented 
yourself with simply discharging this high and holy duty entrusted 
to your care, even then, your Hindu co-religionists would have been 
glad to recognize with joy and thankfulness the inestimable value 
of your work. But in making your way into Western countries 
you have also been the bearer of a message of' light and peace to 
the whole of mankind based on the old teachings of India's 
" Beligion Eternal." In thanking you for all that you have done 
in the way of upholding the profound rationality of the religion 
of the Ved^nta, it gives us great pleasure to allude to the great 
task you have in view, of establishing an active mission with per- 
manent centres for the propagation of our religion and philoso- 
phy. The undertaking to which you propose to devote your 
(energies is worthy of the holy tradition you represent and 
worthy, too, of the spirit of the great Guru who has inspired 
your life and its aims. We hope and trust that it may be given 
to us also to associate ourselves with you in this noble work. 
We fervently pray to Him who is the all^knowing and all-^ 


rom the 

merci-iul Lord of the .Universe to bestow on you long life and fuH 
strength and to bless your labours with that crown of glory and 
success which ever deserves to shine on the brow of immortal 

Youj^i Holiness :— 

I wish to take this early opportunity of your arrival and re- 
ception at Madras to express my feelings of joy and pleasure on 
your sate return to India and to offer my heartfelt congratula- 
tion on the great success which has attended your unselfish 
efforts in Western lands where it is the boast of the highest in- 
tellects that ** not an inch of ground once conquered by sdence 
has ever been reconquered by 'Beligion" — although indeed Science 
has hardly ever claimed to oppose true Beligion. This holy land 
of Aryavarta has been singularly fortunate in having been able 
to secure so worthy a representative of her sages at the Parlia- 
ment of Beligions held at Chicago, and it is entirely due to your 
wisdom, enterprise and enthusiasm that the Western world has 
come to understand what an inexhaustible store of spirituality 
India has even to-day. Tour labours have now proved beyond 
the possibility of doubt that the contradictions of the world's 
numerous cieeds are all reconciled in the universal light of the 
Yed^nta and that all the peoples of the world have need to un- 
derstand and practically realize the great truth that, ^ unity in 
variety' is nature's plan in the evolution o£ the universe, and that 
cnly by harmony and brotherhood among Beligions and by 
mutual toleration and help can the mission and destiny of hu- 
manity be accomplished. Under your high and holy aitspices 
and the inspiring influence of your lofty teachings, we of the 
persent generation have the privilege of witnessing the inaugura- 
tion of a new era in the world'* history in which bigot ry. hatred 
and conflict may, I hope, cease and peace, sympathy and love 
reign among men. And I in common with my people pray that 
the blessings of God may rest on you and your labours. 

When the addresses had been read the Swami left 
the hall and mounted to the box seat of a carriage in the 


rear. There must have been at least ten thousand people 
around, and as only a small proportion could hear, those 
on the outside in their endeavours to approach the carnage 
quite prevented any chance of holding a successful meet- 
ing. However, the Swami was able to make the follow- 
ing short reply, postponing his reply proper to a further 
occasion : — 

Man proposes and God disposes, so it is said, gentle- 
men. It was proposed that the addresses and the replies 
should be carried in the English fashion. But here God 
disposes — I am speaking to scattered audience from the 
chariot in the Gita fashion. Thankful we are, therefore, 
that it should have happened. It gives a zest to the speech 
and strength to what I am going to tell you. I do not 
know whether my voice will reach all of you, but I will 
try my best. I never before had an opportunity of ad- 
dressing a large open air meeting. The wonderful kind- j^^^ ^^ 
ness, the fervent and enthusiastic joy with which I have the ideal of 
been received from Colombo to Madras, and seem likely to natkn, 
be received with all over India, have, passed even my most 
sanguine expectations, but that only makes me glad for it 
proves the assertion which I have made again and again in 
the past, that as each nation has one ideal as its vitality, 
as each nation has one particular groove which is to become 
its own, so religion is the peculiarity of the growth of the 
Indian mind. In other parts of the world religion is one 
of the many considerations, in fact it is a minor occupa- 
tion. In England, for instance, religion is part of the 
national policy. The English Church belongs to the 
ruling class, and, as such, whether they believe in it or 
not, they all support it, thinking that it is their Church. 
Every gentlemen and every lady is expected to belong to 
that Church. It is a sign of gentility. So with other 
countries, there is a great national power ; either it is 



represented by politics or it is represented by some intellec- 
tual pursuits ; either it is represented by militarism or 
commercialism. There the heart of the nation beats; and re- 
ligion is one of the many secondary ornamental things which 
that nation possesses. Here in India it is religion that forms 
the very core of the national heart. It is the back-bone, 
the bed-rock, the foundations upon which the national 
building has been built. Pohtics, power, even intellect 
form a secondary consideration here. Religion, therefore, 
is the one consideiation in •India. I have been told a 
hundred times of the want of information there is among 
the masses of the Indian people; and that is true. Landing 
in Colombo I found not one of them had heard of the 
political upheavals going on in Europe, the changes, the 
downfall of ministries, and so forth. Not one of them 
had heard of what -is meant by socialism, and anarchism, 
of this and that change in the pohtical atmosphere of 
Europe. But that there was a Sannyasin from India sent 
over to the Parliament of Religions, that he had achieved 
some sort of success, had become known to every man, 
woman, and every child in Ceylon. It proves that there 
is no lack of information, nor lack pf desire for informa- 
tion where it is of the character that suits them, when it 
falls in line with the necessities of their life. Politics and 
all these things never formed a necessitiy of Indian life, 
but Religion and spirituality have been the one condition 
upon which it lived and thrived, and has got to live in the 
future. Two great problems are being decided by the 
nations of the world. India has taken up one side, and the 
^ion or enjoy- ^^^^ ^f ^^^ world has taken the other side. And the 
secret of problem is this ; who is to survive ? What makes one 
existence f nation survive and the others die, whether love should 
survive or hatred, whether enjoyment should survive 
or renunciation ; whether matter should survive or 

Problem of 



the spirit, in the struggle of life. We think as our 
ancestors, away back in historical ages, did ; where even 
tradition cannot pierce the gloom of that past, there our. 
glorious ancestors have taken up their side of the problem 
and have thrown the challenge to the world. Our 
solution is renunciation, giving up, powerlessness and 
love, these are the fittest to survive. Giving up the senses 
makes a nation to survive. As a proof of this, here 
is History to-day telling us of mushroom nations rising 
and falling almost every century — starting up from 
nothingness, making vicious play for a few days and 
then melting. This gigantic, big race, with some of the 
greatest problems of misfortune and danger, and vicissi- 
tude, which never fell upon the head of any other nation 
of the world, survive because it has taken the side of 
Renunciation ; for without Renunciation how can there be 
Religion. Europe is trying to solve the other side of the 
problem how much a man can have ; how much more 
power a man can possess, by hook or crook, by some 
means or other. Competition, cruel, cold and heartless, 
is the law of Europe. Ours is caste, breaking competition, 
checking its forces, mitigating its cruelties, smoothening 
the passage of the human soul through this mystery of 

At this stage the crowd became so unmanageable 
that the Swami could not make himself heard to advant- 
age. He therefore ended his address with these words : — 

Friends I am very much pleased with 5'^our enthusiasm. 
It is marvellous. Do not think that I am displeased with 
you at all ; I am, on the other hand, intensely pleased at 
the show of enthusiasm. That is what is required — tremen- 
dous enthusiasm. Only make it permanent ; keep it up. 
Let not the fire die out. We want to work great things 
in India. For that I require your help ; such enthusiasm 


is necessary. It is impossible to hold this meeting any 
longer. I thank you very much for your kindness and 
enthusiastic welcome. In calm moments we shall have 
better thoughts and ideas to exchange ; now for the time 
my friends good bye. 

It is impossible to address you on all sides, therefore 
you must content yourselves this evening with merely 
seeing me. I will reserve the speech to some other 
occasion. I thank 5'ou very much for your enthusiastic 

Five other lectures were given in Madras, of all of 
which reports follow. For the first of these the Swami 
selected, "My Plan of Compaign" as his subject. He 
spoke on this subject as follows : — 


As the other day w^e could not proceed, owing to the 
crowd, I shall take this opportunity of thanking the peo- 
ple of Madras for the uniform kindness that I have 
received at their hands. I do not know how more to 
express my gratitude for the beautiful words that have 
been expressed in everyone of those addresses, excepting 
that I pray the Lord to make me worthy of the kind and 
generous expressions, and may I work all my life for the 
cause of our religion, and to serve our Mother-land, and 
may the Lord make me worthy of them. Gentlemen, with 
all my faults I think I have a little bit of boldness. I had 
a message from India to the West and boldly I gave it to 
the American and the English people. I want, before 
going into the subject of the day, to speak a few bold 
words to you all. There have been certain circumstances 
growing around me, trying to thwart me, oppose my pro- 
gress, and crush me out of existence, if they could. 
Thank God they have failed, as such attempts will 


always fail. But there has been, for the last three years, a 
certain amount of misunderstanding, and so long as I was 
in foreign lands, I held my silence and did not even 
speak one word ; but now, standing upon the soil of my 
motherland, I want a few words of explanation. Not 
that I care what the result will be of these words — not ^^ ^^. 
that I care what feeling I shall evoke from you by these the Theoso- 
words ; I care very little, I am the same Sannyasin that Society. 
entered 5'^our city about four years ago with his staff and 
kamandalu ; the same broad world is before me. With- 
out further preface let me begin. First of all, I have to 
say a few words about the Theosophical Society, it goes 
without saj'ing that a certain amount of good work has 
been done to India by the Theosophical Society ; as such 
every Hindu is grateful to these people, expecially to Mrs. 
Besant, for, though I know very little ot her, yet what 
little I know has impressed me with the idea that she is 
a sincere well-wisher of this motherland of ours, and that 
she is doing the best in her power to raise our country. 
For that, the eternal gratitude of every true-born Indian 
is hers, and all blessings be on her and hers for ever. But 
that is one thing — and joining the Society of the Theoso- 
phists is another. Regard and estimation and love are 
one thing and swallowmg everything any one has to say, 
without reasoning, without criticising, without analysing, 
is quite another. There is another talk going round that 
the Theosophists helped the little achievements of mine 
in America and in England. I have to tell you in plain 
words that every bit of it is wrong, every bit of it is 
untrue. We hear so much tall-talk in this world of liberal 
ideas and sympathy with differences of opinion. That is 
very good, but as a fact we find that one sympathises 
with another «o long as the other believes in everything 
he has got to say, and as soon as he dares to differ, that 


sympathy is gone, that love vanishes. There are others, 
again, who have there own axes to grind, and if anything 
arises in a country which prevents the grinding of their 
own axes, their hearts burn, any amount of hatred comes 
m Misson- ' out, and they do not know what to do. What harm to 
Brahma ^^® Christian missionary that the Hindus are trying to 
Stf»f^; cleanse their own houses ? What injury will it do to the 

Brahma Samaj and other reform bodies that the Hindus 
are trying their best to reform themselves ? Why should 
they stand in opposition ? Why should they be the great- 
est enemies of these movements ? Why ? I ask. It seems 
to me that their hatred and jealousy are so bitter that no 
why or how can be asked there. 

One word more, I read in the organ of the social re- 
formers that I am called a Sudra and am challenged as to 
what right a Sudra has to become a Sannyasin. To which 
I reply — if my caste is the Sudra, then the editor's caste is 
the Pariah. I trace my descent to one at whose feet every 
Brahmin lays flowers when he utters the words — Yam^ya 
dharmardjdya chitraguptdya vai namah — and whose des- 
cendants are the purest of Kshatriyas. If you believe in 
your mythology, or your Puranic scriptures, let these 
Bengalee reformers know that my caste, apart from other 
services in the past, ruled half of India for centuries. If 
my caste is left out of consideration, what will there be left 
of the present day civilisation of India ? In Bengal alone 
my blood has furnished them with their greatest philoso- 
pher, the greatest poet, the greatest historian, the greatest 
archaeologist, the greatest religious preachers ; my blood 
has furnished India with the greatest of her modem scien- 
tists. My caste is the Sudra ! Then this editor, I again 
repeat, is Pariah. He ought to have known a little of our 
own history, and to have known a litf le of our three castes, 
the Brahmin, the Kshatriya, and the Vaisya have equal 


right to be Sannyasins ; the Traivarnika have equal rights to 
the Vedas. This was all in the way. I just quoted this. 
I am not hurt at all if they call me a Sudra. It will be a 
little reparation for the tyranny of my ancestors over the 
poor. If I am a Pariah I will be all the more glad, for I am 
the disciple of a man, who — the Brahmin of Brahmins — 
wanted to cleanse the house of a Pariah; and of course the 
Pariah would not allow him ; how could he ? That this 
Brahmin Sannyasin should come and cleanse his house I 
And this man woke up in the dead of night, entered 
surreptitiously the house of this Pariah, cleansed his W. C, 
and with his long hair wiped the place, and that he did day- 
after day in order that he might make himself the servant 
of all. I bear the feet of that man on my head ; he is my 
hero ; that hero's life I will try to imitate. That is how a 
Hindu seeks to uplift you, how Hindus uplift the masses, 
and without any foreign influence. Twenty years of 
occidental civilisation brings the illustration of the man 
who wants to starve his own friend in a foreign land simply 
because this friend is popular, simply because he thinks 
that this man stands in the way of his making money. 
And the other is an illustration of what Hinduism itself 
will do, genuine, orthodox, and at home. Let any one of 
our reformers bring out that life, ready to cleanse the W. 
C, of a Pariah, and wipe it with his hair, and then I sit at 
his feet and learn, and not before that. One ounce of social Re- 
practice is worth twenty-thousand tons of big talk. form Soctet- 

^- , , - • . . n* -I r«i ies criticizet 

Now I come to the reform societies in Madras. They 
have been very kind to me. They have given me very 
kind words, and they, have pointed out, and I heartily 
agree with them, that there is a difference between the 
reformers of Bengal and those of Madras, Many of you 
will remember that I have told you very often that 
Madras is in a very beautiful position just now. It bag 


not got into the play of action and reaction a« Bengal haa 
done. Here there is steady and slow progress all through; 
here is growth, and not reaction. In many cases, and to 
a certain extent, there is revival in Bengal, but in Madras 
it is not a revival, it is a growth, a natural growth. As 
such, 1 entirely agree w:ith what the reformers point out 
as the difference between the two races ; but there is one 
difference which they do not understand. Some of these 
societies, I am afraid, try to intimidate me to join them- 
selves. That is a strange thing for them to attempt. A 
man who has met starvation face to face for fourteen 
years of his life, who has not known what to eat the next 
day, and where to sleep, cannot be intimidated so easily. 
A man who dared to live where the thermometer register- 
ed thirty degrees below zero, almost without clothes, with- 
out knowing where the next meal was to come from, 
cannot be intimidated so easily in India. This is the first 
thing I will tell them-— I have a little bit of will of my 
own. I have my little experience too and I have a message 
for the world which I will deliver without fear, and with- 
rrue method quj- ^are for the future. To the reformers I will point out,. 

f reform is r / 

onstruction I am a greater reformer than any one of them. They want 
ion. '^ ^^' to reform only little bits. I want root and branch reform. 
Where we differ is exactly in the method. Theirs is the 
method of destruction, mine is that of construction. I do 
not believe in reform ; I believe in growth. 1 do not dare 
to put myself in the position of God and dictate unto our 
society ' This way you should move and not that way.' I 
simply want to be like the squirrel in the building of Rama's 
bridge, who was quite content to put on the bridge his little 
quota of sand-dust. That is my position. This wonder- 
ful national machine has worked through ages I this won- 
derful river of national life is flowing before us. Who 
knows, and who dares to say whether it is good, and how 


it shall move ? Thousands of circumstances are crowding 
around it, giving it a special impulse, making it dull at 
times, and quicker at others. Who dares command its 
motion ? Ours is only to work,, as the Gita says, and stand 
by contented. Feed it with the fuel it wants, but the everywhere 
growth is its own; none can dictate its growth to it.. ^^<^<^Pr 
Evils are plentiful in our society. So are there evils in 
every other society. Here the earth is soaked some 
times with widows' tears ; there, in the West, the air is 
poisoned with the breath of sobs of the unmarried. Here 
poverty is the great bane of life ;. there the life-weariness 
of luxury is the great bane that h upon the race. Here men- 
want to commit suicide because they have nothing to- eat ; 
there they commit suicide because they have so- much to 
eat. Evil is everywhere, like old rlieumatism. Drive it 
from the foot it goes to the head : drive it from there, it 
goes somewhere else. It is a question of chasing it from 
place to place ; that is all. Aye, children,, to remedy evil 
is the true wav. Our philosophy teaches that evil and conjoined' 
good are eternally conjoined, the obverse and the reverse *" ^^^ " 
of the same metJil. Have one,, you have to get the other ;; 
make one billow in the ocean, it must be at the cost of 
some hollow somewhere. Nay, all life is eviL Na breath 
can be breathed witliout killing someone else ; not a mor- 
sel of food can be eaten without depriving some body of 
it. This is the law ; this is philosophy. Therefore the tkerefor^thi 
only thing we can do is to understsnd that all this work ^J^iZ2^x 
against evil is more subjective than objective. The work ^»^. 
against evil is more educational than actual, however big we 
may talk. Aye, this first of all is the idea of work against 
evil, and it ought to make us calmer,. it ought to take fcma- caUntusmoi 
ticism out of Our blood ; and then the history of the world M^^icismii 
teaches us that wherever there have been fanatical reforms sueha-vHuHk 
the only result has been that they have defeated their owu 



ends. No greater upheaval for the e:3tablishment of right and 
liberty can be imagined than the war for the abolition of 
slavery in America, You all know about it. And what has 
been its result ? The slaves are a hundred times worse off 
to-day than they were before the abolition. Before the 
abolition, these poor negroes were the property of some- 
body, and, as properties, they had to be looked after so that 
they might not deteriorate. To-day they are the property of 
nobody. Their lives are of no value ; they are burnt alive 
on meie pretences. They are shot down without any law 
for their murderers ; for they are niggers, they are not hu- 
man beings, they are not even animals ; and that is the 
effect of such \iolent taking away of evil by law, or by 
^l^Untm^e" f^^iaticism. Such is the testimony of history against every 
ments always fanatical movement, even for doing good. I have seen 

'.nd in worse , ■« «^ . , i i rn.i 

wiis, that. My own experience has taught me that. There- 

fore I cannot join anyone of these condemning societies. 
Why condemn ? There are evils in every society ; every- 
body knows it ; every child of to-day knows it ; he can 
stand upon a platform and give us a harangue on the 
awful evils in Hindu Society. Every uneducated foreign- 
er who comes here globe-trotting, takes a vanishing rail- 
V. ay view of India, and lectures most learnedly on the 
awful evils in India. We admit it. Everybody can show 
what evil is, but he is the friend of malikind who finds a 
way out of the difficulty. Like the drowning boy and 
the philosopher, when the philosopher was lecturing him 
— "Take mc out of the water first ;" so our people cry 
^ , " We have had lectures enough, societies enough, papers 
rue method enough, whcrc is the man who lends us a hand to drag 
\o7conTemHa' US out ? Whcre is the man who loves us really ? Where 

*ZhT'^"'' i^ ^^"^^ ^^^" ^'^^^ ^'^^^ sympathy with us ?" Aye, that man 
is wanted. That is where I dififer entirely from these re- 
form movements. A hundred years they have been here. 

o ■^ 


What good has been done, excepting the creation of a 
most vituperative, a most condemnatory literature ? 
Would to God it was not there ! They have criticised, 
condernned, abused the orthodox until the orthodox have 
caught their tone, and paid them back in their own coin, 
and the result is the creation of a literature in every ver- 
nacular which is the shame of the race, the shame of the 
country. Is this reform ? Is this leading the nation to 
glorv ? Whose fault is this ? 

There is, then, another great consideration. Here in Another 


India, we have always been governed by kings ; kings is .— 
have made all our laws. Now the kings are gone, and 
there is no one left to make- a move. The Government 
dare not ; it has to fashion its ways according to the „,. , , 

' ^ ^ y^tththg 

growth of public opinion. It takes time, quite a long passing 
time, to make a healthy, strong, public opinion which ^^ngshas^ 
will solve its own problems : and in the interim we shall sonethe 

* ' sanctiofi of 

have to wait. The whole problem of social reform, there- ouria-ws, 
fore, resolves itself into this : where are those who want 
reform ? Make them first. Where are the people ? The 
tyranny of a minority is the worst tyranny that the world 
ever sees. A few men who think that certain things are New Sanc- 
evil will not make a nation move. Why does not the l^^^pTof^ 
nation move ? First educate the nation, create your P^^iic opini- 

.,,,-, . on must be 

legislative body, and then the law will be forthcoming, created. 
First create the power, the sanction from which the law 
will spring. The kings are gone ; where is the new sanc- 
tion, the new power of the people ? Bring it up. There 
fore,even for sjocial reform, the first duty is to educate the ^y ^^^^^ ^f 
people, and you must have to wait till that time comes. EducaHon, 
Most of the reforms that have been agitated for during 
the last century have been ornamental. Every one of 
these reforms only touches the first two castes, and no 
other. The question of widow marriage would not touch 



seventy per cent, of the Indian women, and all such ques- 
tions only reach the higher castes o( Indian people who 
are educated, mark you, at the expense of the masses. 
Every effort has been spent in cleaning their own houses, 
making tliemselves nice and in looking pretty before 
only then foreigners. That is no reformation. You must go down 
weuM there he to the basis of the thing, to the very roots. That is what 

a radical re- ^ '' 

formation and I Call radical reformation. Put the fire there and let it 
M nation!'^ huTu upwards and make an Indian nation. And the pro- 
blem is not so easy. It is a big and a vast problem be- 
fore us ; be not in a hurry and, mark my words, this pro- 
blem has been known these several hundred years. To- 
day it is the fashion to talk of Buddhism, and Buddhistic 
agnosticism, especially in the South. Little do they 
dream that this degradation which we have in our hands 
The spread of to-day has been left by Buddhism. 

^mwementof This is the legacy which Buddhism has left in our 

Buddha due hands. You tcad in books w^ntten by men who had never 

as much to hts -^ 

ethics and his studied the rise and fall of Buddhism that the spread of 

perso Q.y. Buddhism was owing to the wonderful ethics and the 

wonderful personality of Gautama Buddha. 1 have every 

respect and veneration for Lord Buddha, but mark my 

words, the spread of Buddhism was less owing to the 

doctrines and less owing to the personality of the great 

preacher, than to the temples that were built, the idols 

^and gorgeous- that Were erected, and the gorgeous ceremonies that were 

IMS ofwor- p^^ before the nation. Thus Buddhism progressed. The 

little fire-places in the houses in which the people poured 

their libations were not strong enough to hold their own 

against these gorgeous temples and ceremonies, and later 

on the whole thing degenerated. It became a mass of 

Its lemcy are /.,.,t ^ •» r \ • t 

ourUmpUs filth of which I cannot speak before this audience, but 
those who want to know it may look into those big 
temples, full of sculptures, in Southern India, and this is- 

all the inheritance we have from the Buddhists. Then Thimethoa 


arose the great reformer, Sankaracharya and his followers, & Ramanuja 

and all these hundreds of years, since his rising to the ^uperfictiM 

present day, have been the slow bringing back of the ^^^]l ^^ 

Indian masses to the pristine purity of the Vedantic reli- through 


gion. These reformers knew well the evils which existed, stages, mces- 

yet they did not condemn. They did not say, ^AU that 'f^ ^ ^^ 

you have is wrong, and you must throw it out/ It could 

never be so. To-day I read that my friend, Dr. Barrows, 

says that in 300 years Christianity overthrew the Roman 

and Greek religious influences. That is not the»word of a 

man who has seen Europe, and Greece, and Rome. The 

influence of Roman and Greek religion is all there, even 

in Protestant countries, only with changed names, old gods 

coming in a new fashion. They change their names ; 

the goddesses become Marys and the gods become saints, 

and the ceremonials become new ; even the old title of 

Pontifex Maximus is there. So these changes cannot be. 

They are not so easy, and Sankaracharya knew it. So did 

Ramanuja. These changes cannot be. The only other 

way left them was slowly to bring up to the highest ideal, 

the existing religion. If they had sought to apply the 

other method they would have been hypocrites, for the 

very fundamental doctrine of their religion is evolution, 

the soul going up towards the highest goal, through all 

these various stages and phases, and all these stages and 

phases, therefore, are necessary and helpfu1,and who dares 

condemn them ? 

It has become a trite saying, and every man swallows 
it at the present time without questioning, that idolatry sZp^u^^'^ 
is wrong. Aye, I once thought so, and for the penalty of t^a/J!"^^ 
that I had to learn my lesson sitting at the feet of a man 
who got his everything from idols ; I allude to Rama- 
krishna Paramahamsa. Hindus, if such Ramakrishna 


igi worship Paramahamsas are produced by idol worship, what will 
X Hke* you have — the reformer's creed or any number of idols ? 
wof ^' ^ want an answer. Take a thousand idols more if you 
can produce Ramakrishna Paramahamsas through idol 
worship. God speed you I Produce such noble natures 
by any means you have. And idolatry is condemned \ 
Why ? Nobody knows. Because some hundreds of 
years ago some man of Jewish blood happened to con- 
demn it. That is, he happened to condemn everybody 
else's idols except his own. If God is represented in any 
beautiful form, or any symbolic form, said the Jew> it is 
awfully bad ; it is sin. But if he is represented in the 
form of a chest, with two angels sitting on each side, and 
a cloud hanging over it, it is the Holy of HoHes. If God 
comes in the form of a dove, it is the Holy of Holies. 
But if he comes in the form of a cow, it is heathen 
superstition ; condemn it. That is how the world goes. 
, That is why the poet says, *' what fools we mortals be !" 

rnorantfy That is why it is difficult to look through each other's 
eyes, and that is the bane of humanity. That is the basis 
of hatred and jealousy, ot quarrel and of figbt. Boys, 
mustached babies, who never went out of Madras, stand- 
ing up and wanting to dictate laws to three hundred 
millions of people, with thousands of traditions at their 
back ! Are you not ashamed ? Stand back from such 
blasphemy, and learn first your lessons ! Irreverent boys, 
simply because you can scrawl a few lines upon a paper 
and get some fool to publish it for you, you think you are 
the educators of the world, you think you are the public 
opinion of India! Is it so ? Therefore, this I have to 
tell to the social reformers of Madras, that I have the 
greatest respect and love for them. I love them for their 
great hearts and their love for their country, for the poor, 
for the oppressed. But what I would tell them with a 


brothers's love is that their method is not right. It has 
been tried a hundred years and failed. Let us try some 
new method, and that is all. Did India want tor reformers ^^ *^^!!^ 

' of our gvta 

ever ? Do you read the history of India ? Who was Reformers 
Ramanuja ? Who was Sankar ? Who was Nanak ? Who and sym- 
was Chaitanya ? Who was Kabir ? Who was Dadu ? Who ^''^^^' 
were all these great preachers, one following the other, 
a galaxy of stars of the first magnitude ? Did not Rama- 
nuja feel for the lower classes ? Did not he try all his life 
to adroit even the Pariah to his community. Did he not 
try to admit even Mahomedans to his own fold ? Did not 
Hot Nanak confer with Hindus and Mahomedans, and try 
to bring about a new state of things ? They all tried, and 
their work is going on. The difference is this. They had 
not the fanfarronade of the reformers of to-day ; they had 
not curses on their lips as modern reformers have ; their 
lips pronounced only blessings. They never condemned. 
They said unto the people that the race must always grow, to induce 
They looked back and they said, " O Hindus, what you ^''^^^'^^^'' 

have done is good, but, rhy brothers, let us do better." They 
did not say,' "You have been wicked, now let us be good." 
They said, " You have been good, but let us now be better." 
That makes a whole world of difference. We must grow 
according to our nature. Vain it is to attempt the lines of 
action foreign societies have engrafted upon us ; impossible 
it is. Glory unto God, that it is impossible, that we cannot 

, , 1-11 r 1 • T ^'"^-^ which 

be twisted and tortured mto the shape of other nations. I our past ha^ 
do not oondemri the institutions of other races ; they are ^^^^l"^ ^^ 
good for them, but not for lis. What is meat for them may 
be poison for us. This is the ' first lesson to learn. With 
other sciences, other institutions, and other traditions be- 
hind them, they have got their present system. We, with 
our traditions, with thousands of years of Karma \i€\\\\\^ 
us naturally can only follow our own bent, run in our own 


grooves, and that we shall have to do. 

What is my plan then ? My plan is to follow the ideas 
jou^lke *^ ^^ ^^^ great ancient masters. I have studied their work; 
great buiiders and it has been given unto me to discover the line of action 

of our Society, ^ 

they took. They were the great originators of Society. 
They were the great givers of strength, and of purity, and 
of life. They did most marvellous work. We have to do 
most marvellous work also. Circumstances have become a 
little different ; for that the lines of action have to be 
changed a little, and that is all. I see that each nation, 
action must like cach individual, has one theme in this life, which is its 
little not ^ centre, the principal note around which every other note 
vhoUy, comes to form the harmony. In another race political 

power is its vitality, as in England. Artistic life in another 
to suit the and so on. In India religious life forms the centre, the 
new condition, kcvnote of the wliole music of national life, and if any 
nation attempts to throw of its natural vitality, the direc- 
tion which has become its own through transmission of 
centuries, the nation dies — if it succeeds in the attempt. 
And, therefore, if you succeed in the attempt to throw oflf 
your religion and take up either politics or society or any 
other thing as your centre, as the vitality of your national 
life, the result will be that you will become extinct. To 
prevent this you must make all and everything work 
netigion is the ^hrough that vitality of your religion. Let all your nerves 
secrect o/our ging their chords through the backbone of your religion. I 

nationtu Itfe 

andoL re- havc seen that I -cannot preach even religion in America 
^fMU^J^^re without showing them its practical effect on social life. I 
^fi^ii^^are could not preach religion in England without showing the 
wonderful political changes the Veddnta would bnng. . So, 
in India, social reform has to be preached by showing 
how much more spiritual a life the new system will bring, 
and politics has to be preached by showing how muicb it 
will improve the one thing the nation wants,, its spiritu^y* 


Every man has hi? awn choice ; so has every nationr 
We made our choice age» ago and we must abide by it. ^^'l^\^^ 
And, after all, it is not such a bad choice. Is it such a bad f^«s^^^ 
choice in this world to think, not matter but spirit, not ia tke muum 
man but God ? That intense faith in another world, that 
intense hatred for this world, the intense power of renun- 
ciation^ the intense faith in God, the intense faith in the 
immortal soul, is in you. I challenge any one to give it 
up. You cannot. You may try to impose upon me by b^* 
coming materiahsts, talking materialism for a few mimths, 
but I know what you are ;. I put my hand on your head,, 
and back you come again as good theists as ever were born. 
How can you change your nature ? That is where you 
are. So every improvement in India requites first of all an 
upheaval in religion. To flood India with socialistic or ^ jl. 
political ideas, first deluge the land with spiritual ideas; latuiwithth 
that is the firet thing to be doner The fi^rst work that de- ^Hl^lhs ofom 
mands our attention is that the wonderful truths confined ^^^P^^^ 
in our Upanishads, in our Scriptures, in wr Riranas — 
roost marvellous truths— must be brought out from the 
books, brought out from monasteries, brought out from 
the forests, brought out from the possession of selected 
bodies of people, and scattered broadcast all over 
the land, so that the word may run all over the coun- 
try, from north to south, and east to west from- 
Himalayas to Comorin,. from Scindh to Brahmaputra.. 
Every one must know of them because it is said — This has 
first to be heard, then thought upon, and then meditated. 
Let the people hear first,, and whoever helps in ngaking the 
people hear about the great truths in their own scriptures 
does a karma to day that will never be done by anything 
else that you can do. Says pur Vyasa, *^In this kahyuga 
there is one karma left. The sacrifices and tremendous 
Tapases are of no avlil now. Of karma one renaains^ aiul 



that is the karma of giving. And of these gifts, the gifts 
of spirituality and spiritual knowledge is the highest ; the 

rfg^g^the ^®^^ g^ft ^^ ^1^® S^f^ ^f secular knowledge ; the next is the 
one duty en- gift of life ; and tlie fourth the gift of food. Look at this 

joined on us by ° 

Vyasa in this Wonderfully charitable race ; look at the amount of gifts 
•^"^''* that are made in this poor, poor country ; look at the hos- 

pitality, where a man can travel from the north to the 
south, having the best of the land, just as if he is friendly, 
where no beggar starves so long as there is a piece of 
bread anywhere. 

In this land of charity let us take up the energy of the 
ott!^e India ^''st two charitics, the diffusiou of spiritual knowledge. And 
ihroughout the ^Y^^^ diffusion also should not be confined within the 
bounds of India ; it must go out all over the world. This 
has been the custom. Those that tell you that Indian 
thought never went outside of India, those that tell you 
that I am the first Sannyasin who went to foreign lands to 
preach, do not know the history of their own race. Again 
and again this phenomenon has happened. Whenever the 
world has required it, this perennial flood of spirituality has 
overflowed and flooded the world. Gifts of political know- 
ledge can be made with the blast of trumpets, and the 
march of cohorts. Gifts of secular knowledge and social 
knowledge can be made with fire and sword ; but spiritual 
knowledge can only be given in silence, like the dew that 
falls unseen and unheard, yet bringing into bloom mas«es 
of roses. This has been the gift of India to the world 
again and again. Whenever there has been a great con- 
quering race, bringing the nations of the world together, 
making roads and transit possible, immediately India arose 
and gave her quota of spiritual power to the sum-total of 
the progress of the world. This has been ages before 
Thesi ideas Buddha was bom and the remnants of it are left still in 
JnM, °^ ' ^ China, yet in Asia Minor, yet in tlie*heart of the Malayan 


Archipelago. This was the case when the great Greek 
conqueror united the four corners of the known world ; then 
rushed out Indian spirituality, and the boasted civilisation Aiexan^*t 
of the West is but the little remnant of that deluge. Now "w«jw«. 
the same opportunity has come ; the power of England 
has linked the nations of the world together as was never 
done before. . English roads and channels of communi- 
cation rush from one end. of the world to the other. To- 
day the world has been linked in such a fashion, owing to 
English genius, as has never before been done. To-day ^^ ^^y ^j 

*^ ° -^ nations of 

trade centres have been formed such as have never been the world ar^ 

before in the history of mankind, and immediately, con- jltJian^ 

sciously or unconsciously, India rises up and pours forth Sf/jJ^^' ^ 

her gifts of spirituality, and they must rush through these ^^^^^ <'^«'« 
roads till they have reached the very ends of the world. 
That I went to America was not my doing, or your doing, 


but the God of India, who is guiding its destiny will send 

me, and send hundreds such to all the nations of the 

world. No power on earth can resist it. This also has to 

be done. You must go out to preach your religion, preach 

it to every nation imder the sun, preach it to every people. 

This is the first thing to do. And after preaching spiritual f^UMi'*'^ 

knowledge, along with it will come that secular knowledge ideas wtU 

and every other knowledge you want ; but if you attempt seTJar^^ 

to get the secular knowledge without religion I tell you ^^^^^s^^ 

plainly, vain is your attempt in India, it will never have a 

hold on the people. Even the great Buddhistic movement 

was a failure partially on account of that. What can you 

or I do if it failed ? Therefore, my friends, my plan is to "^^ ^^ ^^^ 

_ , duty men 

start institutions in India, to train our young men to make are wanteds 
them preachers of the truths of our scriptures, inside India 
and outside India. Men, men, these are wanted : every- 
thing else will be ready ; strong, sincere to the backbone, 
vigorou!?, believing young men are wanted. A hundred 


such and tlie world becomes revolutionised. The will is 

^mwutPuh ^^^^^S®'^ ^^^ anything else. Everything must go down 
w thtmsthes, before the will, for that comes from God and God Himself ; 
a pure and a strong will is omnipotent. Do you not believe 
in it ? Preach, preach unto them the great truths of your 
religion ; the world waits for them. People hare been 
taught for centuries theories of degradation. They hare 
been told that they are nothing. The masses have been 
told all over the world that they are not human beings. 
They have been frightened so for centuries, till they have 
nearly become animals. Never were they allowed to bear 
of the Atman, Let them hear of the Alman — that even 
the lowest of the low have the Atman inside, which never 
dies and never is born — Him whom the sword cannot 
pierce, nor the fire bum, nor the air dry, immortal, with- 
out beginning or end, the all-pure, omnipotent and omni- 
present Atma7i ! Let them have faith in themselves, for 
what makes the difference between the English man and 
you ? Let them talk their religion and duty and so forth. 
I have found the difference. The difference is here, that 
the Englishman beheves in himself, and you do not. He 
believes in his being an Enghshman and he believes he can 
do anything. That brings out the God w^ithin him and he 
can do anything he likes. You have been told and taught 
that you can do nothing, and non-entities you are becoming 
every day. Therefore, believe in 5''ourselves. What we want 
is strengthening. We have become weak, and that is why 
occultisms and mysticisms come to us, these creepy things ; 
there may be great truths in them> but they have nearly 
destroyed us. Make your nerves strong. What we want 
is muscles of iron and nerves of steel. We have wept 
long. No more weeping, but stand on your feet and be 
men. It is man-making rehgion that we want. It is man- 
making theories that we want. It is man-making education 

all round that tec want. And here is the test of truth — 
anything that makes yon weak physically, intellectually 
and spiritually, reject it as poison, there is no life in it, it 'f^J^j^ 
cannot be true. Truth is strengthening. Good is purity, «^*' vnii 
good is all knowledge ; truth must be strengthening, must 
be enlightening, must be invigorating. These mysticisms, 
in spite of some grains of truth in them, are generally weak* 
ening. Believe me, I have my life-long experience for it, 
I have travelled every inch of India, searched almost every 
cave here, lived in the Himalayas for years ; know people 
who lived there all their lives, and the one conclusion that 
I draw is that it is weakening. And I love my nation, I can- 
not see you degraded, weakened any more, weak that you 
are now. Therefore I am bound for your sake and for 
truth*s sake to cry, " Hold !" and to raise my voice against 
this degradation of my race. Stop where you are ; be OmuptAii 
strong. Go back to your Upanishads, the shining, the ^ystkJsm. 
strengthening, the bright philosophy, and part from all 
these mysterious things, all these weakening things. Take 
up this philosophy ; the greatest truths are the simplest 
things in the world, simple as your own existence. Before 
you are these truths of the Upanishads. Take them up, 
live up to them and the salvation of India will be found. 

One word more and I have finished. They talk of 
patriotism. I believe in patriotism. I also have my own WA</ff 
ideal of patriotism. Three things are necessary for great n^thZi 
achievements. First feel from the heart. What is in the f'T''^ 

jot great 

intellect ? Reason ? It goes a few steps and there it achtevement 
stops. But through the heart comes^ inspiration. Love 
opens the most impossible gates ; love is the gate to all the 
secrets of the universe. Feel, therefore, my would-be-re- 
formers, would-be patriots. Do you feel ? Do you feel 
that millions and millions ot the descendants of gods and 
of sages have become next door neighbours to brutes ? Do 


r) inUHSi 6* you feel that millions are starving to-day, and millionsi 
€ caLeof have been starving for ages ? Do you feel that ignorance 
ir. country. ^^^ comc over the land as a dark cloud ? Does it make 
you restless ? Does it make you sleepless ? Has it gone 
into your blood, coursing through your veins, becoming 
consonant with your heart beats ? Has it made you 
almost mad, are you seized with that one idea of the 
misery of ruin, and have you forgotten all about your name, 
all about your fame, your wives, your children, your pro- 
perty, even your own bodies ? Have you done that ? That 
is the first step to become a patriot, the first step. I did 
not go to America, as most of you know, for .the Parlia- 
ment of Religions, but this demon of a feeling was in me 
and within my soul. I have travelled twelve years all 
over India, finding no way how to work, and that is why 
I went to America. Most of you know it who knew me 
then. Who cares about this Parliament of Religions ? 
Here are my own flesh and blood sinking every day, and 
who cares for them ? This is the first step. 
'xfutticHm^ You may feel then, but have you found any way out, 
^''^'* some practical solution, instead of spending your energies 

in frothy talk ; some help instead of condemnation, some 
sweet words to soothe their miseries^ to bring them out of 
this living death ? Yet that is not all. Hare you got the 
?) strong wiu -^iW to do against mountain-high obstructions ? If the whole 
*ltum! ^ world stands against ^ou s\yord in hand, wrould you dare 
still do what you think is right ? If your children are 
against you, and your wives, if all your money goes, your 
name dies away, your wealth vanishes, would you still stick 
to it ? Would you still pursue it and go on steadily towards 
your own goal ; as the great King Bhartrihari says — " Let 
the sages blame or let them praise ; let the goddess of for- 
tune come or let her go wherever she hkes.; let death come 
to-day, or let it come in hundreds of years ; he indeed is 


the steady man who does not move one inch from the way 
of truth." Have you got that ? If you have these three ^^Jl^l^^ 
things each one of you will work miracles ; you need not and nothing 
write in the newspapers ; you need not go about lecturing", possibu to 
Your very face will shine.- If you live in a cave your ^'^^^ 
thoughts will permeate even through the stone walls, go 
vibrating all over the world for hundreds of years, may be, 
until it will catch hold of some brain, and work out there. 
Such is the power of thought, of sincerity, and of purity of 

One word more. I am afraid I am delaying you. 
This national ship, my countrymen, my friends, my children 
— this national ship has been ferrying millions and millions u weak. 
of souls across the waters of life. For scores of shining 
centuries it has been plying across this water, and scores of 
millions of souls have been taken to the other shore, to 
blessedness, through its agency. But to day, perhaps 
through your own fault, this boat has taken a leak, perhaps 
it has become a little damaged — would you curse it ? Is it 
fit that you stand up and pronounce malediction upon its 
head, one that has done more work than any other thing 
in the world ? If there are holes in this national ship, this 
society of ours, we are its children. Let us go there and ^^,^^/^ 
stop the holes. If we cannot, let us gladly do it with our stronger or 
hearts' blood, or die. We will make a plug of our brains atumpt,-^ 
and put them into the ship, bijt condemn it, never. Say ^^Jemn^. 
not one harsh .word against this society. 1 love it for its 
past greatness. I love you all because you are the children 
of gods, you are the children of the glorious forefathers. 
AH blessings be on you ! Curse you ! Never. I have 
come to you,- my children, to tell you all my plans. If . ' 
you hear them I am ready to work with you.. If you 
hear them not, even kick me out of India, I will come back 
and tell you — ^^we are all sinking ; therefore, I am come to 


«t in the midst of you, and, if we are to sink, let tis all 
sink together, and never let us curse. 

The following lecture was given on " The Vedanta in 
its application to Indian Life " : — 


There is a word which has become very common a» 
'"^d^ an appellation of our race and our Religion. I mean the 
iindu'' ^Qrd "Hindu," which requires a little explanation in 
connection with what I mean by Vcdantism. This word 
" Hindu " was the name that the ancient Persians used to 
apply to the river Sindhu, Wherever in Sanskrit there is 
an " S " in ancient Persian it changes into " H," so that 
•' Sindhu " became " Hindu " ; and you are all aware how 
the Greeks found it hard to pronounce " H " and dropped 
it altogether, so that we became Indians, and so on. Now 
this word, whatever mighc have been its meaning in 
ancient times, as the inhabitants of the other side of the 
Indus, has lost all its force in modem times ; for all the 
psople that live on this side of the Indus no more belong 
to one religion. There are the Hindus proper, the Mahom^ 
edans, the Parsees, the Christians, some Buddhists and 
Jains. The word " Hindu " in its literal lense ought to 
include all these ; but as signifying the Religion it would 
not be proper to call all these Hindus. It is very hard, 
therefore, to find any common name for our Religion 
seeing that this Religion is a collection, so to speak, of 
various religions, of various ideas, of various ceremonials, 
and forms, all gathered together almost without a name, 
and without a church, and without an organisation. The 
> hi a only point where, perhaps, all our sects agree^ is here^ that 
«/l^// "^^ ^ believe in the Scriptures — the Vsdas. This perhap* 
t authority jg certain that no man can have a right to be called a 

tJu Veaas, ^ 

Hindu who does not admit the supreme authority of the 


Veda?. All these Vedas, as all of. you are aware^ are 
divided into two portions — the Karma Kdnda and the 
Jndna Kdnday the Karma * Kdnda, including various 
sacrifices and ceremonials, of which the larger part has 
become disused in the present age. The Jjidfia Kdnda, 
as embodying the spiritual teachings of the Vedas known as ^^^^ ^ ^^^ 
the Upanishads and the Vedanta, have always been cited Gn(rna 

* "^ Kanaa or 

as the highest authority by all our teachers, our philoso- the. upani- 
phers, and our writers, whether Dualist, or Qualified 
Monist, or Monist. Whatever be his philosophy or sect, 
every one in India has to find his authority in the 
Upanishads. If he cannot, his sect would be heterodox. 
Therefore perhaps the one name in modern times which ^^^^,;y^ ^ 
would designate ever}'' Hindu througout the land would be » hetter 
" Vedantist " or " Vaidik" as you may put it ; and in that 
sense I always use the words " Vedantism '' and " Vedanta/ 
I want to make it a httle dearer, for of late it has become 
the custom of most people to identify the word Vedanta 
with the Advaitic system of the Vedanta Philosophy, We ^eJlanta 
all know that Advaitism is onlv one branch of the various 'J.'<f^»//^^ 

'' with Aavoh 

philosophic systems that have been founded on the taf 
Upanishads. The followers of the Visisht advaitic system 
have as much reverence for the Upanishads as the follow- 
ers of the Advaita, and the Visislitadvaitists daim as much 
authority far the Vedanta as the Advaitist. So-dathe 
Dualists ; so does every oth^r sect in India ; but the wofd 
Vedantist has become somewhat i<ientified in the popular 
mind with the Advaitist, and perhaps with some reason 
because, although we have the Vedas for our Scriptures, 
we have Smritis and Puranas, — subsequent writings — to 
illustrate the doctrines of the Vedas ; these of course have 
not the same weight as the Vedas* And the law is that 
wherever these Puranas and Smritis differ from any part 
of the Sruti, the Sruti must be followed and the Smriti 



cites the 
authority of 
the Srutis 
more than 
Lfiy other. 

ccvsrs the 
v. hole religi- 
ous thougnts 
of India. 

ism and 
which are in 
essence of 

rejected. Now in the expositions of the great Advaitic 
philosopher Sankara and the school founded by him we 
find most of the authorities cited are of the Upanishads, 
very rarely is an authority cited from the Smritis, except, 
perhaps, to elucidate a point which could hardly be found 
in the. Srutis. On the other hand other schools take more 
and more refuge in the Smritis and less and less in the 
Srutis, and as we go to the more and more Dualistic sects 
we find a proportionate quantity of the Smritis quoted 
which is out of all proportion to what we should expect 
from a Vedantist. It is perhaps because these gave such 
predominance to the Puranic authorities that the Advaitist 
came to be considered as the Vedantist par excellence^ if I 
may say so. 

However it might have been, as we have seen, the 
word Vedanta must cover the whole ground of Indian 
Religious life, and it being the Vedas, by all acceptance it 
is the most ancient literature that we have ; for whatever 
might be the idea of modern scholars, the Hindus are not 
ready to admit that parts of Vedas were written at one 
time and parts were written at another time. They of 
course still hold on to their belief that the whole of the 
Vedas were produced at the same time, rather if I may so 
call it — they were never produced, that they always exist- 
ed in the mind of the Lord. Thus this is what I mean by 
the word Vedanta, to cover the ground of Dualism, of 
Qualified Monism and Advaitism in India. Perhaps we 
may take in parts even of Buddhism, and of Jainism too, 
if they would come in, — for our hearts are sufficient- 
ly large. It is they that will not come in ; we ^re ready ; 
for upon severe analysis you will always find that the 
essence ot Buddhism was all borrowed from the same 
Upanishads ; even the ethics, the so-called great and 
wonderful ethics of Buddhism, were word for word there, 


in some or other books of the Upanishads, and so all the 
good doctrines of the Jains were there minus their 
vagaries. In the Upanishads, also, we find the germs of 
all the subsequent .development of Indian religious 
thought. SometiYnes it has been urged without f any ground 
whatsoever that there is no ideal of Bhakti in the 
Upanishads. Those that have been students of Upanishads 
know that it is not true at all. There is enongh of Bhakti The ideal oj 
in every Upanishad, if you will only seek for that ; but growth of 
many other ideas which are found so fully developed in ^^^^^^ 
later times in the Puranas and other Smritis are only in and not 
the germ in the Upanishads. The sketch, the skeleton, 
was there, as it were. It was filled in in some of the 
Puranas. But there is not one full-grown Indian ideal 
that cannot be traced back to the same source— the 
Upanishads. Certain ludicrous attempts have been made 
by persons without much Upanishadic scholarship to trace 
Bhakti to some foreign source ; but as you all know these 
have all been proved to be failures and all that you want 
of Bhakti is there, even in the Samhitas, not to speak of 
the Upanishads — it is there worship and love and all the 
rest of that ; only the ideals of Bhakti are becoming high- 
er and higher. In the Samhita portions, now and, then, 
you find traces of a rehgion of fear and tribulation ; 
in the Samhitas now aud then you find a worshipper quak- 
ing before a Varuna, or some other god. Now and then 
you will find they are very much tortured by the idea of 
sin, but the Upanishads have no place for the delineation 
of these things. There is no religion of fear in the Upani- 
shads ; it is one of Love, and one ot Knowledge. 

These Upanishads are our Scriptures. They have been 
differently explained, and, as I have told you already, upanishaa 
whenever there is a difference between subsequent Puranic Scriptures, 
literature and the Vedas, the Puranas must give way. 


But it is at the same time true that as a practical result we 
find ourselves 90 per cent Puranics and 10 per cent. 
VaidikSy even if that at all. And we all find the most con- 
tradictory usages prevailing in our midst, religious opinions 
which scarcely have any authority in the * Scriptures of the 
^ Hindus prevailing in societies, and in many cases we find 

m the right with astonishmcut, we read books and see, customs of the 
IhgqftTem, couutry that neither have their authority in the Vedas, nor 
loco/ custom jjj ^Yie Smritis, nor in the Puranas, but are simply local 
Vedania. customs ; -and yet each ignorant villager thinks that if that 
little local custom dies out he will no more remain a Hindu. 
In his mind Vedantism and these httle local customs have 
been indissolubly identified. In reading the Scriptures it is 
hard for him to understand that what he was doing has 
not the sanction of the Scriptures, and that the giving up 
of them will not hurt him at all, but on the other hand 
will make him a better man. Secondly, there is the other 
The existing (jifiiculty. Thesc Scriptures of ours have been very vast. 
are a part of We read in the Mahabhashya of Patanjali, that great philo- 
ZchteTf' logical work, that the Sama Veda had one thousand bran- 
ches. Where are they all ? Nobody knows. So with each 
of the Vedas ; the major portion of these books has dis- 
appeared, and it is only the minor portion that remains to 
us. They were all taken charge of by particular families ; 
and either these families died out, or were killed under 
foreign persecution, or somehow became extinct ; and 
with them, that branch of the learning of the Vedas they 
took charge of became extinct also. This fact we ought 
to remember as it always forms the sheet-anchor in the 
hands of those who want to preach anything new, or to 
defend anything even, against the Vedas. Wherever we 
know in India there is a discussion between local custom 
and the Srutis, and whenever it is pointed out that the 
local custom is against the Scriptures, the argument that \i 


forwarded is that it is not, that the custom existed in the 
branch of the Srutis which has "become extinct ; this has 
also been a custom. In the midst of all these varying p^r^j^s 
methods of reading and commenting on our Scriptures it is ^^y^^'^ 
very difficult indeed to find the thread that runs through oniy extma 
^11 of them ; for we become convinced at once that there 
must be some common ground underlying all these varying 
divisions and sub-divisions, there must be harmony, a 
common plan, upon which all these little bits of buildings ^owever 
have been constructed, some basis common to this appar- common 
entl3'' hopeless mass of confusion which we call our religion, ^^ich thtu 
Else it could not have stood so long, it could not have ^^** 
endured so long. 

Coming to our commentators again, we find another 
difficulty. The very same Advaitic commentator, when- 
ever an Advaitic text comes, preserves it just as it is ; but 
as soon as a Dualistic text presents itself before him he 
tortures it, if he can, brings the most queer meaning out ^^^itg i 
of it. Sometimes the " Unborn " becomes a "goat," such the commit 
wonderful changes. "Ajd" the "Unborn" is explained 
as ''Ajd " a she-gd!at, to suit the commentator. In the 
same way, if not in a still worse fashion, the texts are 
handled by the Dualistic commentator. Every Dualistic 
text is preserved, and every text that speak of non-dualis* 
tic philosophy, is tortured in any fashion they like. This 
Sanskrit language is so intricate, the Sanskrit ot the Vedas 
is so ancient, and the Sanskrit philology so perfect, that 
any amount of discussion can be carried on for ages in 
regard to the meaning of any word. If a Pandit takes it 
into his head, anybody's prattle can be made into correct 
Sanskrit by force of argument and quotations of texts and 
rules. These are the difficulties in our way of understan- 
ding the Upanishads. It was given to me to live with a 
man who was as ardent a Dualist, as ardent an Advaitisti 


as ardent a Bhakta, as a Jndnu And living "with this man 
first put it into my head to understand the Upanishads 

JkrisAna ^"^ ^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ Scriptures from an independent and 
Deva taught better basis than blindly following the commentators ; and 

true canon "^ *^ 

ofinurprt' in my humble opinion, and in my humble researches, 
I came to this conclusion, that these texts are not at all 
contradictory. So we need not have any fear of text-tor- 
turing at all I They are beautiful, aye, they are most 
wonderful, and they are not contradictory, but wonderfully 
harmonious, one idea leading to the other. JBut the one 
fact I found is that in all the Upanishadf" you will find that 
Z!^iud ail ^^^y begin with Duahstic ideas, with worship and all that, 
systems. ^ud they end with a grand flourish of Advaitic ideas. 

Now, therefore, I find, in the light of this man's life, 

that the Dualist and the Advaitist need not fight each 

according to Other ; cach has a place, and a great place in the national 

^apUK^in^^ life ; the Dualist must remain ; he is as much part and 

the evolution parcel of the national rehrious life as the Advaitist ; one 

of the highest ^ . ^ 

human canuot exist without the other ; one is the fulfilment of the 

advaita ^ Other ; oue is the building, the other is the top ; the one 
the root, the other the fruit, and so on.* Then again any 
attempt to torture the texts of the Upanishads appears to 
me very ridiculous, for I begin to find out that the 
language was so wonderful ; apart from all its merits as the 
greatest philosophy, ' apart from its wonderful merit as 
theology, as showing the path of salvation of mankind, the 
Upanishadic literature is the most wonderful painting of 
sublimity that the world has. Here comes out in full 
force that individuality of the hun^an mind, that intros- 
pective intuitive Hindu mind. We have paintings of sub- 
limity elsewhere in all nations, but almost without excep- 
tion, you will find that their ideal is to grasp the sublime 
in the muscles. Take for instance, Milton, Dante, Homer 
or any of those Western Poets. There are wonderfully 


sublime passages in them ; but there it is alwa5^9 
grasping for the senses, the muscles getting the ideal of 
infinite expansion, the infinite of space. We find the same 
attempts in the Samhita portion. You know some of those 
most Wonderful Riks, where creation is described, and so 
on ; the verj'' heights of expression of the sublime in 
expansion, the infinite in space is reached ; but, as it were, 
they found out very soon that the Infinite cannot be 
reached in that way, that even the infinite space and ex- 
pansion and the infinite external nature could not express 
the ideas that were struggling to find expression in their 
minds, and they fell back upon other explanations. The 
language became new in the Upanishads ; it is almost 
negative, the language is sometimes chaotic, sometimes 
taking you beyond the senses, going half way and leaving 
you there, only pointing out to you something which 5'ou 
cannot grasp, which you cannot sense, and at the same 
time you feel certain that it is there. What passages in the 
World can compare with this ? Na tatra suryo bhdti na The Lpam 
Chandra idrakam nemd vidyuto bhdntl kntoyam agnih. ^f^J^^%^ 
" There the sun cannot illumine, nor the moon, nor the Minting 
stars, the flash of lightning cannot illumine the place, ^unique^ 
what to speak of this mortal fire." Where can you find a ^^s^^s'- 
more perfect expression of the whole philosophy of the 
whole world ; the gist of what the Hindus ever thought, 
the whole dream of human salvation, painted in language 
more wonderful, in figure more marvellous ? Dvd siiparnd 
sayujd sakhdyd samdnam vrikshafn parishasvajaiilij 
tayoranyah pippalam svddvatyatias^naniianyo abhichakas itt 
&c., Ssfc, &fc. Upon the same tree there are two birds of 
beautiful plumage, most friendly to each other, one eating 
the fruits, the other without eating, sitting there calm and 
silent ; the one on the lower branch eating sweet and bitter 
fruits in turn and becoming happy and unhappy, but the one 


on the top calm and majestic ; eats neither sweet nor bitter, 
cares for neither happiness nor misery, immersed in his 
own glory. This is the picture of the human soul. Man is 
eating sweets and bitters of this life, pursuing gold, pursuing 
his senses, pursuing the vanities of life, hopelessly, madly 
careering he goes. In other places the Upanishads have 
compared it to the charioteer and the mad horses unres- 
trained. Such is the career of men pursuing the vanities of 
life, children dreaming golden dreams to find that they 
were but vain, and old men chewing the cud of their past 
deeds, and yet not knowing how to get out of this net- 
work. Thus we are ; yet in the life of every one there 
come golden moments, in the midst of^ deepest soirows*,^ 
nay of deepest joy there come momenta when,, as it were^ 
a part of the cloud that hides the sun-light moves away, 
and we catch a glimpse in spite of ourselves of something 
beyond, away, away beyond the life of the senses, away,, 
away beyond its vanities, its joys and its sorrows, away, 
away beyond nature, in our imaginations of happiness 
here or hereafter, away beyond all thirst for gold, or for 
fame or for name, or for posterity. Man stops for a 
moment in this glimpse, he sees the other bird calmi and 
majestic, eating neither sweet nor bitter fnadts, immers- 
ed in his own glory, self-content, self-satisfied, as fhe 
Glta says Yasivatmaratirevasyddahnatripias cha mdnavShj 
dtmanyevd cha santuskiasfasya kdryam na vidyate. 
'' Those that have become satisfied in the Atmafi^ those 
who do not want anything beyond Atman, what wofk 
is there for them ? Why should they drudge ?" He 
catches a glimpse, then again he forgets, he goes on eating 
sweet and bitter fruits of life, he forgets everything again; 
perhaps after a time, he catches another gHmpse, perhaps 
the lower bird comes nearer and nearer as blows are 
received ; if he be fortunate to receive hard knocks, thea 



he comes nearer and nearer to the other bird his compani- 
on, his life, his friend, and as he gets nearer he finds that 
the light from the other bird is playing round his own 
plumage, and as he comes nearer and nearer, lo ! the 
transformation is going on. He finds himself melting 
away, nearer and nearer still he has come^ he has entirely 
disappeared. He did not exist ; it was but the reflection 
of the other bird, who was there calm and majestic on 
those moving leaves, it was he always, always so calmi 
It was his glorj", that upper bird's. No more fear ; perfect- 
ly satisfied, calmly serene, he remains. In this figure the 
Upanishads take you from Dualistic to the utmost V^^^^^ 
Advaitic conception. Examples can be added to ex- thought conu 
amples, we have no time in this lecture to do that, to 
show the marvellous poetry of the Upanishads, the paint- 
ing of the sublime, the grand conceptions :; but one other 
idea, the language and the thought and everything come 
direct, they fall upon you like a sword blade, ' like a 
hammer blow they come. There is no mistaking their 
meanings. Every tone of that music is firm and produces 
its full effects ; no gyrations, no mad words, no intricacies^ 
in which the brain is lost. Signs of degradation are not 
there; no attempts at too much allegorising,, too much 
piling of adjectives after adjectives, making it more and 
more intricate, till the whole of the sense is lost, and the 
brain becomes giddy ,> and man does not know his way out 
from the maze of that literature, none of that yet. If it strength 
be human literature^ it must be the production of a race and freedom 
which has not yet lost a bit of its national vigour. ^^^ ^^ ^'* 
Strength, strength is what it talks to me from every page, utught:^^ 
This is the one great thing to remember ; it has been the 
CMie great lesson I have been taught in my life ; strength, 
it says, strength^ oh man be not weak. Aye, are there no 
hwmaii weaknesses say man; there are, say the Upanishads^ 



biit will more weakness heal it, would you try to wasfi 
dirt with dirt ? Will sin cure sin, weakness cure weakness ? 
Strength, oh man, strength, say the Upanishads, stand up 
and be strong ; aye, it is the only literature in the world 
where you find " nabhayef *' fearless" used agam and 
again ; in no other scripture in the world is this adjective 
applied either to God or to man. '' Nabhayet" " fearless" 
and to ray mind rises from the past, the vision of the 
great Emperor of the West, Alexander the great, and I 
see, as it were in a picture, the great monarch standing on 
the banks of the Indus, talking to one of our Sannyasins in 
the forest, the old man he was talking to, perhaps naked, 
stark naked, sitting upon a block of stone and the 
Emperor astonished at his wisdom tempting him with 
gold and honor, to come over to Greece. And this man 
smiles at his gold, and smiles at his temptations, and 
refuses, and then the Emperor standing on his authority 
as an Emperor, says, " I will kill you, if you do not come," 
and the man bursts into a laugh, and he says " You never 
told such a falsehood in your ?life, as you tell just now. 
Who can kill me ? Me you kill. Emperor of the material 
World ! Never, for I am spirit unborn and undecaying, 
never was I born and never do I die, I am the Infinite, 
the Omnipresent, the Omniscient, and you kill me, child 
that you are." Aye that is strength, that is strength. 
And the more I read the Upanishads, my friends, my 
countrymen, the more I weep for you, for therein is the 
great practical application. Strength, strength for us. 
What we need is strength, who will give us strength ? 
There are thousands to weaken us, stories we have learnt 
enough. Every one of our Pur^nas if you press it gives out 
stories enough to fill three- fourths of the libraries of the 
world. We have all that. Everything that can weaken 
us as a race we have had for the last thousand years. 


h seems as if for the last thousand vears national life had 
this one end in view, viz.f how to make us weaker and 
weaker, till we have become real earthworms, crawling 
at the feet of every one who dares to put his foot on us. 
Therefore my friends, as one of your blood, as one that 
lives and dies with you, let me tell you that we want 
strength, strength, and every time strength. And the 
Upanishads are the great mine of strength. Therein lies 
sXrength enough to invigorate the whole world ; the whole 
world can be vivified, made strong, energised. It will. call 
with trumpet voice upon the weak, the miserable and the 
down-trodden of all races, all creeds, and all sects, to 
stand on their feet and be free ; freedom, physical freedom, 

mental freedom, and spiritual freedom are the watch word 
of the Upanishads. Aye, this is the one Scripture in the' 
world, ol all others, that does not talk of salvation, but of 
freedom. Be free from the bonds of nature, be free from 
weakness ! And it shows to you that you have it already 
in }'^ou. That is another peculiarity. You are a Dvaitist 
never mind, you have got to admit that by its very nature 
the soul is perfect ; onl}^ by certain actions of the soul has it 
become contracted. Indeed the theory of contraction and 
expansion of Ramanuja is exactly what the modern evolu 
tionists call Evolution and Atavism. The soul goes back, 
becomes contracted as it were, its powers become potential, 
and bj' good deeds and good thoughts it expands again and 
reveals its natural perfection. With the Advaitist the one 
difference is that he admits evolution in nature and not in 
the soul. Suppose there is a screen, and there is a small 
hole in the screen. I am a man standing behind the screen 
and looking at this grand assembly ? I can only see very 
few faces here. Suppose the hole to increase ; as it in- 
creases more and more, all this assembly is revealed unto 
me, till the hole has become identified with the screen. 


There is nothing between you and me in this case ; neither 
you changed nor I changed ; all the change was in the 
screen. You were the same from first to last ; only the 
screen changed. This is the Ad vaitisfs position with re- 
gard to Evolution— evolution of nature and manifestation 
of the Self within. Not that the Self can by an)'- means 
be made to contract. It is unchangeable, the Infinite 
Gne. It was covered, as it were, with a veil, the veil of 
Maya and as this Maya veil becomes thinner and thinner, 
the inborn, natural glory of the soul comes out and be- 
comes more manifest. This is the one great doctrine 
which the world is waiting to learn from India. Whatever 
tliey may talk, however they may try to boast, they will 
find out day after day, that there can no more be a society 
without admitting this. Do you not find how everything 
is being revolutionised ? Do you not see how it was the 
custom to take for granted that everything is wicked until 
it proves itself good ? In education, in punishing crimi- 
nals, in treating lunatics, in the treatment of common 
diseases even, that was the old law. What is the modem 
law ? The modern law says, the body itself is healthy ; 
it cures disease of its own nature. Medicine can at best 
help the storing up of the best in the body. What says it 
of criminals ? It takes for granted that however low a 
criminal may be there is still the divinity within which 
does not change and we must treat criminals as such. 
They have changed all that. They call gaols penitentia- 
ries. So with everything ; consciously or unconsciously 
that divinity which is inside and outside India is express- 
ing itself. And in your books is the explanation ; they 
have got to take it. The treatment of man to man will 
be entirely revolutionised and these old old ideas of 
pointing to the. weakness of mankind will have to go. 
They will have received their death-blow within this 


century. Now they may stand up and criticise us. I 
have been criticised from one end of the world to the 
other as one who preaches the diabolical idea that there is 
no sin. Very good. The descendants of these very men 
will bless me as the preacher of virtue, and not of sin. I 
am the preacher of virtue, not of sin. I glory in being 
the preacher of light and not of darkness. 

The second great idea which the world is waiting to 
receive from our Upanishads is the solidarity of this uni- 
verse. The old old lines of demarcation and differentia- 
tion are vanishing rapidly. Electricity and steam-power 
are placing the different parts of the world in intercom- 
munication with each other, and, as a result, we Hindus 
no more say that every country beyond ' bur own land is 
peopled with demons and hobgoblins; nor do the people of thiunioefL 
Christian countries say that India is only peopled by 
cannibals and savages. We go out of our country, we 
find the same brother man with the same strong hand to 
help, with the same Hps to say god-speed, and sometimes 
better than in the country in which we are born. They, 
when they come here, find the same brother-hood, the 
same cheers, the same god-speed. Well our Upanishads 
say that the cause of all misery is ignorance ; and that is 
perfectly true applied to every state of life either social 
or spiritual. It is ignorance that makes us hate each 
other, it is ignorance ot each other that we do not know 
and do not love each other. As soon as we come .to 
know each other love comes, must come, for are we not 
one ? Thus we we find solidarity coming in spite of 
itself. Even in Politics and Sociology, problems that were 
only national twenty years ago can no more be solved on 
national grounds. They are assuming huge proportions, 
gigantic shapes. They can onlv be solved when look- 
ed at in the broader light of international grounds. 


Weakness is 
t cause of 
iff our 

iTiternational organisations^ international combinations, 
intenEtional laws are the cry of the day. That show» 
the ^idarity. In science everyday they are finding out 
that view of the matter. You speak of matter, the whole 
universe as one mas*?, one ocean of matter, in which you 
and I, tlie sun and the niodn, and everything else, are but 
the names of different little whirlpools and nothing more. 
Mentally speaking it is one universal ocean of thought, in 
which you and I are f<imilar little whirlpools, and as spirit 
it moveth not, it changeth not. It is the One Unchange- 
able, Unbroken, Homogeneous Aiman. The cry for 
morality is coming also, and that is in our books. The 
explanation of morality the fountain of ethics, that also 
the world wants ; and that they will get. What do we 
want in India ? If foreigners want these things w^e want 
them twenty times more. Because, in spite of the great- 
ness of the Upanishadp, in spite of our boasted ancestry 
of sages, compared to many other races, I must tell you 
in plain words, we are weak, very weak. First of all is 
our physical weakness. That physical weakness is the 
cause at least of one-third of our miseries. We are lazy; 
we cannot work ; we cannot combine ; we do not love 
each other ; we are immensely selfish ; not three of us 
can come together without hating each other, without 
being jealous of each other. That is the state in which 
we are, hopelessly disorganized mobs, immensely selfish, 
fighting each other for centuries whether a certain mark 
is to be put this way or that way ; writing volumes and 
volumes upon such most momentous questions as whether 
the look of a man spoils my food or not ! This we have 
been doing for the last few centuries. We cannot expect 
anythin*; more except what we are just now, of a race 
whose whole brain energj^ has been occupied in such 
wonderfully beautiful problems and researches ! And we - 

are not ashamed. Aye, sometimes we are; but we cannot 
do what we think. Think we many thinjja and never do, 
till parrot-like, thinking has become a habit, and never 
doing. What is the cause of that ? Physical weakness. 
This weak brain is not able to do anything ; we must 
change that. Our young men must be strong, first of 
all. Religion will come afterward?. Be strong my young 
friends, that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to 
Heaven through foot-ball than through the study of the 
Gita. Bold words are these. I have to say them. I love ^''« ^^'^'^ 
you. I know where the shoe pinches. I have gained a through fa 
little experience. You will understand Glta better with ^/£>^, 
your biceps, your muscles a little stronger. You will 
understand the mighty genius and the mighty strength of 
Krishna better with a little of strong blood in you. You 
wall understand the Upanishads better and the glory of 
the Aima?i, when your body stands firm upon your feet • 
and you feel yourselves as men. Thus we have to apply 
these to our needs. People get disgusted many times at 
my preaching Advaitism. I do not mean to preach 
Advaitism, or Dvaitism, or any ism in the world. The 
only ism that we require now is this wonderful idea of the 
soul — its eternal might,' its eternal strength, its eternal 
purity, and its eternal perfection. 

If 1 had a child I would from its very birth begin to 
tell it *' Thou art the Pure One." You have read in one 
of the Puranas that beautiful story of Queen Madalasa, 
how as soon as she has a child she puts her child with her 
own hands on the hammock, and how as the hammock 
swings to and fro, she begins to sing •' Thou art the Pure 
One, the Stainless, Sinless, the Mighty One, the Great Feeltkatyi 
One/' Aye, there is nmch in that. Feel that you are ^^'^^^ 
great and you become great. What did I get as my ex- 
perience all over the world, is the question. They may 


talk about sinners ; and if all Englishmen indeed believed 
that they were dinners, Englishmen would be no better 
than the Negroes in the middle of Africa. God bless them 
that they do not beheve it. On the other hand the Eng- 
lishman believes he is born the lord of the world. He be- 
heves he is great and can do anything in the world, if he 
wants he can go to the sun or the moon, and that make* 
him great. If he had believed his priests that he is a poor 
little sinner, going to be barbecued through all eternity, he 
would not be the same Englishman that he is to-day. So 
m/atU I find in every nation that, in spite of priests and super- 
stition, the divine within lives and asserts itself. We have 
lost faith. Would you believe me, we have less faith than 
the Englishman and woman, a thousand times less faith I 
These are plain words, but I say it, I cannot help it. Don't 
you see how Englishmen and women, when they catch our 
, ideals, become mad as it were, and although they are the 
ruling class, come to India to preach our own rehgion 
against the jeers and ridicule of their own countrymen ? 
How many of you can do that ; just think of that ; and 
why cannot you do that ? Is it that you do not know it ? 
You know more than they, that is why it is ; you are more 
wise than is good for you, that is your difficulty I Simply 
because your blood is only a pint of tar, your brain is 
sloughing, ycur body is weak ! Change the body, it must 
be changed. Physical weakness is the cause and nothing 
else. You have talked of reforms, of ideals, and all these, 
for the last hundred >'ears, and when it comes to practice, 
you are not to be found anywhere ; till you have disgusted 
the whole world, and the very name ot Reform is a thing 
of ridicule to the whole world ! And what is the cause ? 
Is it that you do not know ? You know too much. The 
only cause is that you are weak, weak, weak, your 
body is weak, your mind is weak, you have no faith in 


yourselves I Centuries and centuries, a thousand years of 
crushing tyranny of castes, and kings, and foreigners, and 
your own people, have taken out all strength from you, my 
brethren ! Like trodden down, and broken, badk-boneless 
worms you are ! Who will give us strength i Let me tell 
5'ou, strength, strength, is what we want. And the first 
step in getting strength is to uphold the Upanishads, and 
believe that " I am the soul." " Me the sword cannot 
cut ; no instruments pierce ; me the fire cannot burn ; me 
the air cannot dry ; I am the Omnipotent, I am the 
Omniscient." So repeat these blessed saving words. Do 
not say we are weak, we can do anything and everything. 
What can we not do, everything can be done by us ; we 
have the same glorious soul in every one ; let us believe in 
it. Have faith, as Nachiketa ; at the time of his father's 
sacrifice, faith came unto Nachiketa ; aye, I wish that 
faith would come unto each of you ; and every one of you 
would stand up a gigantic intellect, a world-mover, a gaint, 
an infinite God in every respect ; that is what I want you 
to become. This is the strength that you get from the 
Upanishads, this is the faith that you will get, and this is 
there. Aye, but it was only for the Sannyasin! Rahasya! 
The Upanishads were in the hands of the Sannyasin; he 
went into the forest ! Sankara was a little kind and says 
even Grihasihas may study the Upanishads, it will do 
them good ; it will noi hurt them. But still the idea is 
that the Upanishads talked only of the forest. As I told 
you the other day the only commentary, the authoritative 
commentary of the Vedas, has been made once and for 
ever by Him who inspired the Vedas, by Krishna in the 
Gita. There it is for every one for every occupation of life. 
These conceptions of the Vedanta must come, must re- 
main not only in the forest, they must not only go into the 
cave, but they must come to work out in the Bar, and the 


154 . 

Bench, in the Pulpit, the cottage of the poor man, with the 
fishermen that are catching fish, and students that are stu- 
dying. They call to every man, every woman, and child, 
whatever be their occupation, everywhere they must be; 
and what to fear! The ideals of the Upanishads! how can the 
fishermen and all these carry them out ! The way has been 
shown. It is infinite ; religion is infinite, none can go be- 
yond ; and whatever you do, that is very good for you. 
Even the least done brings marvellous results ; therefore 
let every one do what little he can. If the fisherman thinks 
that he is the spirit, he will be a better fisherman ; if the 
student thinks he is the spirit, he will be a great student. 
If the lawyer thinks that he is the siprit, he will be a better 
lawyer, and so on, and the result will be that the castes 
will remain for ever. It is in the nature of society to form 
itself into groups ; and what will go ? These privileges ! 
Caste is a natural order. I can perfdnn one duty in social 
life, you another; you can govern a country, and I can mend 
a pair of old shoes, but that is no reason why 5'ou are great- 
er than I, for can you mend my shoes ? Can I govern the 
country ? It is natural. Tam clever in mending shoes, you 
are clever in reading Vedas, but that is no reason why you 
should trample on my head ; why if you commit murder 
will you only be praised, and if 1 steal an apple shall I be 
hanged! This will go. Caste is good. That is the only natural 
way of solving life. Men must form themselves into groups, 
you cannot get rid of that. Wherever you go there will be 
caste. But that does not mean that there will be these 
privileges. They will be knocked on the head. If you 
teach Vedanta to the fisherman, he will say, I am as good 
a man as you, I am a fisherman, you are a philosopher ; 
never mind, 1 have the same God in me, as you have in 
you. And that is what we want, no privilege for any one, 
equal chances for every one ; let every one' be tauglit the 

T " "* 

Divine within, and every one will work out his own sal- 
vation. Liberty is the first condition ot growth. It is wrong, 
a thousand times wrong, if any of you dares to say * I will 
work out the salvation of this woman or child.' I am asked, 
again and again what do you think of this widow, question 
and what do you think of this woman question ? Let me 
answer once for all, am I a widow that you ask me that 
nonsense ! Am I a woman, that you ask me that question 
again and again? Who are you to solve women's problems? 
Are you the Lord God himself, ruling over every woman 
and every widow ? Hands off. They will solve their own 
problems. Nonsense ! Tyrants, attempting to think that 
you can do anything for any one ! Hands off. The Divine 
will look after all. Who are you to assume that you know 
everything ; how dare you think, oh blasphemers, that 
you have the right over God. For don't you know that 
every soul is the soul of God, oh, blasphemers i Mind 
your own Karma, a load of Karma is there in you working. 
Oh ye blasphemers ! Your nation may put you upon a 
pedestal, your society may cheer you up to the skies ; fools 
may praise you ; but He sleeps not. He will catch you, 
and the punishment will be sure, here or hereafter. There- 
fore look upon every man and woman and every one as 
God. You cannot help anyone ; you can only serve ; 
serve the children of the Lord, serve the Lord Himself, if 
you have the privilege. If the Lord grants that you can help 
any one of His children blessed you are ; do not think too 
much of yourselves. Blessed you are that that privilege 
was giv^n to you and others had it not. Hands off, 
therefore ; none here requires your help. It is only wor- 
ship. 1 see there are some poor, because it is of my sal- 
vation I will go and worship them: God is there ; some 
here are miserable for your and my salvation, so that we 
n^ay serve the Lord, coming in the shape of the diseased, 


coming in the shape of the lunatic, the lepef, and tbo 
sinner. Bold are my words, and let me teU them for it ia 
the greatest privilege in your or my life that we are allow- 
ed to serve the Lord in all these shapes. Give up the idea 
that by ruling some one, you can do any good to them. 
But you can do just as in the case of the plant ; you can 
supply the growing seed with the materials for the making 
up of its body, bringing to it the earth, the water, the air, 
that it wants. It will take all that it wants by its own 
nature, assimilate and grow by its own nature. Bring all 
light into the world ; light, bring light ; let light come 
unto every one, let the task be not finished till everyone 
has reached the Lord. Bring light to the poor,and bring 
more light to the rich, for they require it more than the 
poor ; bring light to the ignorant, and more light to the 
educated, for the vanities of this education of your time 
are tremendous I Thus bring light to all and leave the rest 
unto the Lord, for in the words of the same Lord, '' To 
work you have the right and not to the fruits thereof/' 
Let not your work produce results for you, and at the same 
time may you never be without work. May He who 
taught such grand ideas to us, to our forefathers ages before 
help us to get strength to carry into practice His 


This was thfe subject of the third lecture of which the 
text follows: — 

In speaking of the sages of India, my mind goes back 
to those periods of which history has no record, and tradi- 
tion tries in vain to bring the secrets out of the gloom of 
the past. The sages of India have been almost innumerable 
for what has the Hindu nation been doing for thousands 
of years except producing sages ? I will take, therefor^ 


Xht lives of few of the most brilliant ones, the epoch- 
makers, and present my study of them before you. In 
the first place» we have to understand a little about our fjl^fjj^^f^^^ 
scriptures. Two ideals of truth are in our scriptures, the stituu tht 

Hindu scrip^ 

one IS what we call the eternal, and the other not so tures. 
authoritative, yet binding under particular circumstances, 
and times, and places. The eternal relations which deal ^ . 

Srutts ifii' 

with the nature of the soul, and of God, and the relations body tternai 
between souls and God, are embodied in what we call the ^^^^X'^"^ 
the Srutis, the Vedas. The next set of truth is what we ioaio/man. 
call the Smritis, as embodied in the works of Manu, 
Yajnavalkya, and other writers, and also in the Puranas, smritis and 
down to the Tantras. This second class of books and f «''««^ f/ 
teachings is subordinate to the Srutis, inasmuch as when- rity deal 
ever anyone of these contradicts anything in the Srutis ^l reach per- 
the Srutis must prevail. This is the law. The idea is that A'*^- 
the outline of the destiny and goal of man has been 
delineated in the Vedas the details having been left to be 
worked out in the Smritis and Purlnas. As for general 
directions, the Srutis are enough ; for spiritual life, nothing 
more can be said, nothing more can b9 known. All that 
is necessary has been known, all the advice that is necess- 
ary to lead the soul to perfection has been completed in 
the Srutis : the details alone were omitted and these the ^ . „ 

. . . Srutis tiUu$ 

Smritis have supplied from time to time. Another peculia- notMngabaat 
rity is that these Srutis have many sages as the recorders ^^JZl^ded 
of the truths in them, mostly men some even women. '^'^^ 
Very little is known of their personahties, the dates of 
their birth, and so forth, but their best thoughts— their 
best discoveries, I should say — are . preserved there, em- 
bodied in the sacred literature of our country, the Vedas. 
In the Smritis, on the other hand, personahties, are more Smritis an 

_,. ... ,, full of thesi, 

in evidence. Startlmg, gigantic, impressive, world moving 
persons for the first time, as it were, stand before us 


both the 
principles of 
the Vedas 
and the per- 
sonality of 
the Smritis 
and Pura- 

The latter 
derives thtir 
from the 
vihich con" 
tain all the 
ideas man 

sometimes of more magnitude, even, than their teachings. 
This is a peculiarity which we have to understand,— 
that our religion preaches an Impersonal Personal God. It 
preaches impersonal laws plus personality, but the very- 
fountain-head of our religion is in the Srutis, the Vedas, 
which are perfectly impersonal, and the persons all appear 
in the Smritis and Puranas — the great Avatars, incarnations 
of God, Prophets, and so forth. And this ought also to be 
observed, that except our religion, every other religion in 
the world depends upon the life or lives of some personal 
founder or founders. Christianity is built upon the life of 
Jesus Christ, Mohammedanism of Mohammed, Buddhism 
of Buddha, Jainism of the Jinas, and so on. It naturally 
follows that there must be in all these religions a good deal 
of fight about what they call the historical evidences of 
these great personalities. If at any time the historical evi- 
dences about the existence of these personages in ancient 
times become weak, the whole building of the religion tum- 
bles down to the ground and is broken to pieces. We 
escaped this fate because our religion is not based upon 
persons but on priniiples. That you obey your religion is 
not because it came through the authority of a sage, no, 
not even of an incarnation. Krishna is not the authority 
of the Vedas, but the Vadas are the authority of Krishna 
himself. His glory is that he is the greatest preacher of 
the Vedas that ever existed. So as to the other incarnations ; 
so with all our sages. Our first principle is that all that is 
necessary for the perfection of man and for attaining unto 
freedom is there in the Vedas. You cannot find anything 
new. You cannot go. beyond a perfect unity, which is the 
goal of all knowledge ; this has been already reached there, 
and it is impossible to go beyond the unity. Religious- 
knowledge became complete when Tat twam asi was dia- 
coverd, and that was in the Vedas. What remained 


was the guidance of people from time to time, according 
to different times and places, according to different 
circumstances and environments ; people had to be guided Jongtiu 
along the old, old path, and for this these great teachers /f^^^ '^'p 
came, these great sages. Nothing can bear out more apply the 
clearly this position than the celebrated saying of Sri \agts^ar^. 
Krishna in the Gita: — Yadd yaddhi dharmasya gldnirbha-- 
vail Bhdrata Abhyuttdnam adharmasya taddtmdnam 
srijdmvaham &c. Sfc. &fc, " Whenever virtue subsides and 
irreligion pervails I create myself for. the protection of the 
good; for the destruction of all immorahty I am coming 
from time to time." This is the idea in India. 

What follows ? That on the one hand, there are these 
eternal principles which stand upon their own foundations, 7Ae tmper 
without depending on any reasoning even, much less on ^vedanta 
the authority of sages, however great, of incarnations, ^^/^^f^ 
however brilliant they may have been. We may remark characur, 
that as this is the unique position in India, our claim is 
that the Vedanta only can be the universal religion, that 
it is already the existing universal religion in the world, 
because it teaches. principles and not persons. No religion 
built upon a person can be taken up as a type by all the 
races ,of mankind. Even in one small city we find that so 
many hundreds, of persons are taken up as types by the 
dififerent minds in that one city. How is it possible that 
one person, as Mahommed, or Buddha, or Christ, can be 
taken up as the one type for the whole world? Nay, 
that the whole of morality, and ethics, and spirituality, , 
and rehgion, can be true only from the sanction of that and ethics 
one person, and one person alone ? Now the Ved antic Tei/^b^ei 
rehgion does not require an)^ such personal authority ; its *^^ ^^^ 
sanction is the eternal nature of man, its ethics are based 
Upon the eternal spiritual solidarity of man, already exist- 
ing,. already attained, and not to be attained. 0|q the 



other hand, from the very earliest times, our sages hare 
been feeling conscious of this fact, that the vast majority 
of mankind require a person. They must have a Pergonal 
God in some form or other, 1 he very Puddha who declar- 
iyaa ed against the existence of a Personal God had not died 
e<^stiy to gj.^y years before his disciples manufactured a Personal God 
out ot him. This Personal God is necessary, and at the 
sametime we know that instead of, and better than, vain 
imaginations of a Personal God which in ninety -nine cases 
out of a hundred are unworthy of human worship, we 
^uuarna- havc in this world, living and walking in our midst, living 
^\e^b^form Gods now and then. These are more worthy of worship 
^*^- than any imaginary God, any creation of our imaginations, 

and idea of God which we can make. Sri Krishna is much 
greater than any idea of God you or 1 can make. Buddha 
is a much higher idea, a more living and idealised idea, 
than any ideal you or I can conceive in our minds, and 
therefore it is that they always command the worship of 
mankind, even to the exclusion of all imaginary deities. 
This our sages knew, and there left it open to all Indian 
people to worship such great personages, such incarnations. 
Nay, the greatest of these incarnations goes further.— 
Yadyad vibhutimat sattvam krimadiirjitameva vd, Tatta- 
devtivagachchha tvam mama tejom'sa sambhavatn, 
" Wherever there is an extraordinary spiritual power mani- 
fested by external man know that I am there ; it is from 
me that that manifestation comes/' That leaves the door 
open for the Hindu to worship the incarnations of ail the 
countries in the world. The Hindu can worship any sage 
and any saint from any country whatsoever, and as a fact 
we know that we go and worship niany thnes in the 
ithoJktLtti <^hurches of the Christians, and many^ many times ro the 
'*' Mahommedan Mosques, and that is good. Why not ? 

Ours, as I have said, is the universal religion. It is inclusive 

* i6r 

enough, it is broad enough .to indude all the ideali*. All 
the ideals of religion that already exist in the world can 
be immediately included, and we can patiently wait for all 
the ideals that are to come in the future, to be taken in 
the same fashion, embrabed in the infinite arms of the! 
religion of the Vedanta. 

This more or less^ is our position with regard to thfc 
great sages, the incarnations of God. There are also second- Cominga/ii 
ary characters. We find the word Rishi again and again *^e*tl^^^ 
mentioned in the Vedas, and it has become a common word ^*^^"- 
at the present time. The RUhi is the great authority. We 
have to understand that idea. Tlie definition is that the 
Rishi is the Manira-drashta, the seer of thought. 
What is the proof of rehgion ? — this was asked in very 
ancient times. There is no proof in the senses,, was the 
declaration. Vaia vmcho nivartante abrdpya manasa saha. na w>§j dMiair 

^ -^ edtht proof 

tatra chakshurgachchhati na vAggachchhati &c. " From ofreHgimu 
whence words reflect back with thought without reaching 
the goal. There the eyes cannot reach,, neither can the 
mind, nor any of the organs/' That has been the declara- 
tion for ages and ages. Nature outside aannot ^^le us any 
answer as to the existence of the sauU the existence of 
of God, the eternal life^ the goal of nmn,. and all that. This^ 
mind is continually changing^ always in a state of flux,^ it 
is finite, it is broken into pieces. What can this nature 
talk of the Infinite, the Unchangeable,^ the Unbroken^ the 
Indivisible, the Eternal ? It never can. And wherever 
mankind has striven in vain to get an answer from dull 
dead matter, history knows how disastrous the results 
have been. How comes^ therefore,, the knowledge which 
the Vedas declared ? It comes through a Rishi.. 
This knowledge is not in the senses,, but is the senses, 
the be-all and the end-all of tlie human being ?' Who* 
dares say that the senses are the all in all of man. Even 




in our lives, in the life of every .one of us here, there come 
nuisf^mtke moments of calmness, perhaps, when we see before us the 
'•n of spirt" death of one we loved, when some shock comes to us, or 
when extreme blessedness comes to us ; nmny other occa- 
sions there are when the mind, as it were, becomes calm, 
feels for the moment its real nature ; a glimpse of the In- 
finite beyond, where words cannot reach nor the mind go, 
is revealed to us. This happens inordinary life and has- 
to be heightened, practised, perfected : men found out 
ages ago that the soul is not bound or limited by the 
senses, no not even by consciousness. We have to under- 
stand the t this consciousness is only the name of one link 
in the infinite chain. Being is not identical with consci- 
ousness, but consciousness is only one part of Being. 
Bevond consciousness is where tl>e bold search. Consci- 
ousness i& bound by the senses. Beyond that, beyond the 
senses, men must go in order to arrive at trutfe of the 
spiritual world, and there are even now persons who suc- 
ceed in going beyond the bounds of the senses. Tliese are 
called RishiSf because they corae face to face with spiritual 
Tena tht ^^^^'^'S* ^^ proo*v therefore, of the Vedas is just the same 
»*», as the proof of this table before me, pratvaksJiam, direct 

perception. TliisI see with the senses, and the truths: 
of spirituality we also see in a super-con scioiis state of the 
human soul. This Rishi- state is not limited bv time, or 
by place or by sex, or by race. Vatsyayana boldly declares 
this Rishihood is the common property of the descendant 
of the sage, of the Aryan, of the non -Aryan, of even the 
Mlecbcha. This is the sageship of the Vedas, awd we 
ought constantly to remember that ideal of religion in 
India, which I wish other nations of the world would also* 
remember and learn, so that there might be less fight and 
less quarrel. Religion is not in books, nor in theories, nor in 
dogmas, nor in talking, not even in reasoning. It is being and 



becoming. Aye, my friends> until each one of you has become 
a Rishi, and come face to face with spiritual facts, religious 
life has not begun for you. Until the super-conscious 
opens for you, religion is mere talk> it is all but prepara- 
tion. You are talking second hand) third hand, and here 
applies that beautiful saying of Buddha when he had a 
discussion with some BraVimins 1 They came discussing 
about the nature of Btahman and the great sage asked 
*' Have you seen Brahman ?" " No**' said the Brahmin ; 
^ Or your father ?", ^' No> neither he:" *' Or your grand* 
father ?" '' I don't think even he saw Him," ** My friend 
whom your father and grandfather never saw, how do 
you discuss about such a person, and try to put down each 
other ?" That u what the w^hole world is doing. Let us 
say in tlic language of the Vedanta Ndyatndtma prava^- 
chaiiena labhyah na medhayd bakuna ^ruiena ^' This 
Atman is not to be reached by too much talk, no, not even 
by the highest intellect, no, not even by the study of the 
Vedas«themselves," Let us speak to all the nations of the 
world in the language of the Vedas :-— Vain are your fights 
and your quarrels ; have you seen God whom you want to 
preach ? If you have not seen vain is your preaching, j^ou 
do not know what you say and, if you l^ave seen God, you 
will not quarrel, your face will shine. An ancient sage of 
the Upanishads sent his son out to learn about Brahman 
and the child came back, and the father asked *' what have 
you learnt"? The child replied he had learnt many 
sciences and the father said '^ that is nothing, go back." 
And the son went back, and when he returned attain the 
father asked the same question, and the same number of 
sciences was the answer from the child. Once more he 
had to go back, and the next time he came, his whole face 
\vas shining, and his father stood up and declared " Aye, 
to-day, my child, your face shines like a knower of God," 

by rniAuh 



Hindu has to 
^onu m 

^Aen come 



When you have known God your very face will be chang- 
ed, your voice will be changed, your whole appearance 
will be changed. You will be a blessing to mankind ; 
none will be able to resist the Rishi. This is Rishihood, 
the id«al of our religion. The refit, all these talks, and 
reasonings, the philosophies, and dualisms, and monisms, 
even the Vedas themselves, are but preparations, second* 
ary. The other is primary. The Vedas, Grammar, Astro- 
nomy, &c., all these are secondary; that is supreme 
knowledge which makes us realise the Unchangeable 
One. Those who realised are the sages whom we find in 
the Vedas, and w^e understand how this Rishi is the name 
of a type, of a class, which every one of us, as true Hindus 
is e:spected to become at some period of our life, and 
becoming which, to the Hindu, means salvation. Not 
belief in doctrines, nor going to thousands of temples, nor 
bathing in all the rivers in the world, but becoming the 
Rishif the Maiitra-drashtd^ that is freedom, that is salva- 
tion. • 

Coming down to latter times, there have been great 
world-moving sages, great incarnations, of whom there 
have been many, and according to Bhaghavata they also 
are infinite in number, of whom those that are worshipped 
most in India are Rama and Krishna. Rama, the ancient 
idol of the heroic ages, the embodiment of truth, of mora- 
lity, the ideal son, the ideal husband, the ideal father, and 
above all the ideal king, this Rama has been presented 
before us by the great sage Valmiki. No language can 
be purer, none chaster, none more beautiful, and at the 
same lime simpler than the language in which the great 
poet has depicted the life of Rama. And what to speak 
of Sita ? You may exhaust the literature of the world 
that is past, and I may assure j''ou, w^ill have to exhaust the 
literature of the world of the future, before finding another 


Sita. Sita is unique t that character wais once depicted and 
once for all. Rilmas have been, perhaps, several, but Sitas 
never. She is the very type of the Indian woman as she 
should be, for all the Indian Ideals of a perfected woman 
have got around that one life of Sita, and here she stands^, 
these thousands of years commanding the worship of every 
man, woman, or child, throughout the length and breadth 
of the land of Aryavarta. Th^re she will always be, 
glorious Sita, purer than purity itself, all patience, and all 
suffering. She who suffered that life of suffering without 
a murmur, she the ever chaste and ever pure wife, 
■he the ideal of the people, the ideal of the gods, the great 
Sita, our national God she must always remain. And 
every one of us knows her too well to require much deli- 
neation. All our mythology may vanish, even our Vedas 
may depart, and our Sanskrit language may vanish for 
ever, but as long as there will be five Hindus living here, 
speaking the most vulgar patois, there will the story of 
Sita be present, mark my words. Sita has gone into the 
very vitals of our race. She is in the blood of every Hindu 
man and woman ; we are all children of Sita. Any 
attempt to modernise our woman, if it tries to take our 
women away from that ideal of Sita, it is a failure. The 
women of India must grow and develop in the foot-prints 
of Sita, and that is the only way. 

The next is He who is worshipped in various forms, j^^.-.^^^ ^^ 
The favourite ideal of men, as well as women, the ideal of ^<f«^ Sannya 
children, as well as of grown-up men. I mean He whom Aoid^^r. 
the writer of Bhagayad Git was not content to call an in- 
carnation but says " The other incarnations were but parts 
of the Lord. He, Krishna, was the Lord Himself." And 
it is not strange that such adjectives are applied to him 
when we marvel at the many-sidedness of his character. 
He was tl^ most wonderful Saanyasin^ and the most 


wonderful householder in one, he had the most wonderful 
amount Rajas power, and was at the same time living in 
the midst of the most wonderful renunciation. Krishna 
can never be understood until you have studied the Gita, 
for he was the embodiment of his own teaching. Every 
one of these incarnations came as a living illustration of 
what they came to preach. Krishna, the preacher of the 
Gita, was all his life the embodiment of that song celestial; 
he was the great illustration of non-attachment. He gives 
up his throne, He, the leader of India at whose word kings 
come down from their thrones, does not wish to be a king. 
He is the simple Krishna, ever the same Krishna who 
^Gopu ^^ pJ^iyed with the Gopis. Aye that most marvellous passage 
of his life, the most difficult to understand, and which none 
ought to attempt to understand until he has become per- 
fectly chaste and pure, the most marvellous expansion of 
lave allegorised and expressed in that beautiful play at 
Brindavan, which none can understand but he that has be- 

ustra*estAe ^^™® ^^^ with and drunk deep of the cup of love ! Who 
eaiofiove can Understand the throes of love of the Gopis — the very 
ideal of love, love that wants nothing, love that even does 
not care for heaven, love that does not care for anything 
in this world or the world to come ? And here, my friends, 
through this love of the Gopis, has been found the only so- 
lution of the conflict between the Personal and the Imper- 
sonal God. We know how the Personal God is the high- 
est point of human life ; we know that it is philosophical to 
believe in an Impersonal God, immanent in the universe, of 
whom everything is a manifestation. At the same time 
our souls hanker after something concrete, something which 
we want to grasp, at whose feet we can pour our soul. The 
Personal God is therefore the highest conception of human 
nature. Yet reason stands aghast at such an idea.. It i» 
tlie same old, old question which, you find discussed in the 


Brahma Sutra?, which you find Droupadi discussing with 
Yudhishthira in the forest, — if there is a Personal God, all- 
merciful, all-powerful, why is this hell of an earth here ? 
Why did he create this ? He must be a partial God, There 
was no solution, and the only solution that can be found is 
what you read about the love of the Gopis. They hated 
every adjective that was applied to Krishna ; they did not 
care to know that he was the Lord of creation, they did 
not care to know that he was almighty, they did 
not care to know that He was omnipotent. The only thing 
they understood was that he was Infinite Love, that was 
all. The Gopis understood Krishna only as the Krishna of 
Brindavan, He, the leader of the hosts, the King of kings, 
to them was the shepherd, and the shepherd for ever. Na 
dhanam na janatn na kavitdm sundarim va jagadisa 
kdmaye mama janmajanmanisvarabhavatdt bhaktirahai^ 
tuki tvayu " I do not want wealth,, nor many people, nor 
dp I want learning ; no not even do I want to go to 
heaven. Let me be bom again and again,, but Lord, grant 
me this, that I may have love for Thee, and that for love's 
sake.*' A great landmaric in the history of religion isr ^^"*^ 
here, the ideal of love for love's sake, work for work's sake, first fy 
duty for duty's sake, and it for the first trme fell from the 
lips of the greatest of incarnations, Krishna, and for the 
first time in the history of humanity, upon the soil of India. 
The religions of fear and of temptation were gone for ever, 
and in spite of the fear of hell, and temptation to enjoy- 
ment in heaven, came the grandest of ideals, love for love's 
sake, duty for duty's sake, work for work's sake. And what 
a love f I have told you just now that it is very difficult to 
understand the love of the Gopi^j. There are not wanting 
fools, even in the midst of us, who cannot understand the 
marvellous significance of that most marvellous of all epi- 
sode?. There are, let me repeat, impure fools, even born 


of our blood, who try to shrink from that as if from some* 
thing impure. For them I have only to say, first make 
yourselves pure, and you must remember that he who tells 
the history of the love of the Gopis is none else but Suka 
Deva. The historian who records this love of the Gopi.^ is 
one who was born pure, the eternally pure Suka, the son of 
A^yasa. So long as there is selfishness in the heart, so long 
is love of God impossible ; it is nothing but shop-keeping, 
I give you something, Oh Lord, you give me something* 
And says the Lord, if you do not do this I will take good 
care of you when you die. I will roast you all the rest of 
your lives, perhaps, and so on. So long as such ideas are 
in the brain how can one understand the mad throes of the 
Gopis' love. Suratavardhanam sokandianam svarita venu- 
nd sushtuchumbitam. Itarardga vismdranamnrindm vitara 
vira nah tedharamritam, " Oh forone kiss of those lips ; one 
who has been kissed by Thee, his thirst for Thee increases 
for ever, all sorrows vanish, ard we forget love for everything 
else but for Thee and Thee alone.' ' Aye ; forget first the 
love for gold, and name and fame, and for this little world 
of ours. Then, only then you will understand the love of 
the Gopis, too holy to be attempted without giving up 
everything, too sacred to be understood until the soul has 
become perfectly pure. People with ideas of sex, and cA 
money, and of fame, bubbling up every minute in the heart 
daring to criticise and understand the love of the Gopis I 
That is the very essence of the Krishna incarnation. Even 
the Gita, the great philosophy itself, does not compare with 
that madness, for in the Git^ the disciple is taught slovdy 
how to walk towards the goal, but here is the madness of 
enjoyment, the drunkenness of lov3, where disciples, and 
teachers, and teachings, and books, and all these thing«^ 
have become one, even the ideas of fear, arid God, and' 
heaven« Everyjthing has been thrown awa^l What 


remains is the madness of love. It is forgetfulness of every-- 
thing, and the lover sees nothing in the world except that 
Krishna, and Krishna alone, when the face of every being 
becomes a Krishna, when his own face looks like;, Krishna, 
when his own soul has become tinged with Krishna colour. 
That was the great Krishna. Do not waste your time upon 
details. Take up the framework, the essence of the life. 
There may be many historical discrepandes, there may be 
interpolations in the life of Krishna. All these things may 
be true, but at the same time, there must have been a basis^ 
a foundation for this new and tremendous departure. Tak- 
ing the life of any other sage or prophet, we find that that 
prophet is only the evolution of what had gone before him, 
we find that that prophet is only preaching the ideas that 
had been scattered about his own countr}', even in his own 
times'. Great doubts may exist even as to whether that 
prophet existed or not. But here I challenge, any one to 
show whether these things, these ideals — work for work's 
sake, love for love's sake, duty for duty's sake — were} not 
original ideas with Krishna, and, as such, there must have 
beea some one with whom these id^as originated. They 
could not have been borrowed from anybody else, they 
were not floating about the atmosphere when Krishna was^ 
born. But the Lord Krishna was the first preacher of 
this ; his disciple Vyasa took it up and preached it unta 
mankind. This is the highest idea to picture. The highest 
thing we can get out of him is Gopi-JanavallahhayXho. shepr 
herd of Brindavan. When that madnesss comes in your 
brain, when you understand the blessed Gopis, then you 
will understand what love is. When the whole world will 
vanish, when all other considerations will have died out,, 
when you will become pure-hearted, with no other ajm, 
not even the gearch after truth, then and then alone, .will 
rush before you the madness of that love, the strength 


it Gila, 


and the power, of that infinite love which the Gopis had, 
that love for love's sake. That is the goal. When you 
have got that you have got everything. 

To come down to the lower stratum, Krishna — the 
\eacher of preacher oftheGita. Aye, there is an attempt in India 
now which is like putting the cart before the horse. Many 
of our people think that Krishna as the lover of the Gopis 
is rather something uncanny, and the Europeans do rot 
like it much. Dr. So-and-so does not like it. Certainly 
then, the Gopis have to go. In the MahabhSrata there is 
no mention of the Gopis except in one or two places. In 
the prayer of Draupadi there is mention of a Brindavan 
life, and in the speech of S'isupala there is again mention 
of this Brindavan. From that ideal lover we come down 
to the lower stratum of Krishna, the preacher of Gita. 
Even there no better commentary has been written or can 
be written. The essence of the .S'rutis, or of the Upanish- 
ads, is hard to be understood, seeing that there are so many 
commentators, each one trying to interpret in his own way. 
Then the Lord Himself comes, He who is the inspirer of 
the S'rutis, to show us the meaning of these as the preach- 
er of Gita, and to-day India wants nothing better, the 
world wants nothing better than that method of interpreta- 
tion. It is a w^onder that subsequent interpreters of the 
Scriptures, even commenting upon the Gita, could rot 
catch the meaning, could not catch the drift. For what do 
you find in the Gita, and what even in modern com- 
mentators ? One non-dualistic commentator takes up an 
Upanishad, there are so many dualistic passages, and he 
twists and tortures them into some meaning, and wants to 
bring them all into his own meaning. If a dualistic com- 
mentator comes there are so many non-dualistic texts 
which he begins to torture in order to bring them all roypd 
to a dualistic meaning ; but you find in Gita there is no 


attempt at torturing any of them. They are all right, 

says the Lord, slowly and gradually the human soul comes -^^ '•''*»« 

•^ ' -^ . o •' art trui am> 

up and up, step after step, from the gross to the fine, from ^acA isgoM 
the fine to the finer until it reaches the absolute, the goal, piact ^^ 
That is what is in the Gita. Even the Karma Kan..a is 'c^y^*' 
taken up, and it is shown that although it cannot give 
salvation direct but only indirectly yet that is also valid, 
images are valid indirectly, ceremonies, forms, everything is 
valid, only with one condition, purity of the heart. For 
worship is valid, and leads to the goal, if the heart is pure 
and the heart is sincere ; and all these various modes of 
worship are necessary, else, why should they be here ? 
Religions and sects are not the work of hypocrites and 
wicked people, who invented all these to get a little money, 
as some of our modern men think. However reasonable 
that explanation may be it is not true, they were not 
invented that way at all. They are the outcome of the 
necessity of the human soul. They are all here to satisfy the 
hankering and thirst of different classes of human minds, 
and you need not preach against them. The day when 
that necessity will cease they will vanish along with the 
cessation of that necessity, and so long as that necessity 
remains they must be there, in spite of your preaching in 
spite of your criticisms. You may bring the sword or the 
gun into play, you may deluge the world with human 
blood, but so long as there is a necessity for idols they 
must remain. These forms and all the various steps in 
religion will remain, and we understand from the Lord Sri 
Krishna why they should remain. 

A rather sadder chapter of India's history comes now. clTeanU, re 
In the Gita we already hear the distant sound of conflicts ^fuTlrT^^ 
of sects, and the Lord comes in the middle to harmonise t^*Oita, 
them ail, the great preacher of harmony, the greatest Tea- 
cher of harmony, Lord Krishna Himself. He says, Mayi 



sarvamidam proiam siltre manigand iva " In Me they are 
all strung like pearls upon a thread." We already hear the 
distant sounds, the murmurs, of the conflict, and possibly 
Ihere was a period of harmony and calmness when it broke 
anew, not only on religious grounds, but most possibly on 
caste grounds, — the fight between the two powerful factors 
struggles in our community, the kings and the priests. And from 
^ha arose] the tbpmost crcst of the wave that deluged India for near- 
ly a thousand years we see another glorious figure, and 
that was our Gautama Sakyamuni. We worship Him as 
<jod incarnate, the greatest, the boldest preacher of mora- 
lity that the world ever saw, the greatest Karma Yogi\ as 
a disciple of himself, as it were, the same Krishna came to 
show how to make his theories practical ; there came once 
again the same voice that in the Gita preached, Svalpama- 
who preach- pya^ya dharihasya trdyatc mahato bhaydt, '^ The least bit 
and ilberly doHC of this rcligion i^avcs Irom great tear." Striyo Vaisyd 
^^^^^ stathd sudrdh tcpi ydnti pardm gatitn, "Women, or 

Vaisyas, even Sudra^, all reach the highest goal." Break- ' 
ing the bondages of all, the chains of all, declaring liberty 
to all to reach the highest goal come the words of the Gita, 
rolls like thunder the mighty voice of Krishna : — Ihaiva 
tairjitassvargah yeshdm sdmye sthitam maiidh ^c^ 
^^ Even in this life they have conquered heaven whose 
minds are firmly fixed upon the sameness, for God is pure 
and the same to all, therefore such are said to be living in 
God." Evam tu panditairgndtvd sarvabhiltamayam 
harim &c., '* Thus seeing the same Lord equally present 
everywhere the sage does not injure self with self, and thus 
reaches the highest goal." To give as it were a living 
•example of this preaching, to make at least one part of it 
practical, the preacher himself returned in another form. 
This was Sakyamuni, the preacher to the poor and the 
miserable, who rejected even the language of the gods to 


speak in the lianguage of the people, so that he might reach 
the hearts of the people, who gave up a throne to live with 
beggars, and the poor, and the downcast, who pressed the 
Pariah unto his breast like a second Rama. But the work 
had one great defect and for that we are suffering even to- 
day. No blame attaches to the Lord. He is pure and glori- ^.^^ ^^ 
ous but unfortunately such high ideals could not be well ^/^ Aryan 
assimilated by the different uncivilised and uncultured superstition, 
races of mankind who flocked within the fold of the fj^^^s- 
Aryans. These races, with varieties of superstition and 
hideous worship, rushed within the fold of the Aryan and for 
a time appeared as if they had become civilised, but before 
a century had passed they brought out their snakes, their 
ghosts, and all the other things their ancestors used to 
worship, and thus the whole of India became one degraded 
mass of superstition. The earlier Buddhists, in their rage 
against the killing of animals, had denounced the sacrifices 
of the Vedas ; and these sacrifices used to be held in every 
house. There was a fire burning, and that was all the 
paraphernalia of worship. These sacrifices were obliterate 
-ed, and in their place came gorgeous temples, gorgeous 
•ceremonies, and gorgeous priests, and all that you see in 
India in modern times. I smile when I read books, written 
by some modern people who ought to have known better, 
that Buddha was the destroyer of Brahminical idolatry. 
Little do thev know that Buddhism created Brahminism ,v'^-uv« 

- »i<9.U Ty 

and idolatry in India. There was a book written about a ^"^ hideom 

•' forms of 

year- or two ago by a Russian gentleman who claimed to worship. 
have found out a very curious life of Jesus Christ, and in 
one part of the book he says that Christ went to the 
Temple of Jagannath to study with tlie Brahmins, but be- 
came disgusted with their exclusiveness and their idols, and 
so he went to the Lamas of Thibet instead, became perfect, 
and W'Cnt home. To any manxwho knows anything about 


Indian History that very line proves that the whole thing 
was a fraud, because the Temple of Jagannath is an old 
Buddhistic Temple, We took this and others over and re- 
hinduised them. We shall have to do many things like 
that yet. And at that time there was not one Brahmin in 
Jagannath and j''et we are told that Jesus Christ came to 
study with the Brahmins there. Thus says our great 
Russian archaelogist. Thus in spite of the preaching of 
mercy unto animals, in spite of the sublime ethical religion, 
in spite of the hair-splitting discussions about the existence 
of a permanent soul, or the non-existence of a permanent 
soul, the whole building of Buddhism tumbled down piece- 
meal ; and the ruin was simply hideous, i have neither 
the time nor the inclination to describe to you the hideous- 
ness that came in the wake of Buddhism. The most 
hideous ceremonies, the most horrible, the most obscene 
books that human hands ever wrote, or the human brain 
ever conceived, the most bestial forms that ever has passed 
under the name of religion, have all been the creation of 
degraded Buddhism. 

But India has to live, and the spirit of the Lord des- 
cended again. He who declared that " I will come when- 
inTarf ^^^^ virtuc subsidcs" came again, and this time the mani- 
festation was in the South, and up rose that young 
Brahmin of whom it has been declared that at the age of i6 
he had completed all his writings ; the marvellous boy 
Sankaracharj'a arose. The writing of this boy of i6 are 
the wonders of the modern world, and so was the boy. He 
wanted to bring back the Indian world to its pristine purity 
but think of the extent of the task before him. I have 
told you a few points about the state of things that exist- 
ed in India. All these horrors that you are trying to re- 
form are the outcome of that reign of degradation. The 
Tartars, and the Belluchis, and all the hideous races of 


mankind, came to India and became Buddhists, and 
assimilated with us, and brought th^ir national customs, 
and the whole of our national lite became a huge page of 
the most horrible and the most bestial customs. That was 
the inheritance which that boy got from the Buddhists and 
from that time to this the whole world in India has been 
a re-3onquest of this Buddhistic degradation by the 
Vedanta. It is still going on, it is not yet finished. Sankara 
came, a great philosopher, and showed that the real 
essence of Buddhism, and that of the Vedanta, are not His was a 
vary different, but .the disciples did not understand the ^Budlhi^ 
master, and had degraded themselves, denied the existence ^Zjjy^^ 
of the soul and of God, and had become atheists.^ That an^ V^^^an 

4' It 

was what Sankara showed, and all the Buddhists, began to Tame, ^ 
return to the old religion. But they had become accustom- 
ed to all these forms ; what could be done ? 

Then came the briUiant Ramanuja. Sankara, with his „ 

■' ' Ramanuja 

great intellect, I am afraid, had not as great a heart, punfiedtfu 

Ramanuja's heart was greater. He felt for the down- ^Ai^io^ 

trodden, he sympathised with them. He took up the ]f^^^^'^ 

ceremonies, the accretions that had gathered, made them ««' "^-^ 

pure so far as could be, and instituted new ceremonies, influence, 
new methods of worship, for the people who absolutely 
required these. At the same time he opened the door to the 
highest spiritual worship, from the Brahmin to the Pariah. 

That was Ramanuja's work. That work rolled on, invaded ^^ ^,,^ 

North, and was taken up by some great leaders there, but ^^^^^^^^ < 


that was much later, during the Mahommedan rule, and the 
brightest of these prophets of modern times in the North chaitanya 
was Chaitanya ; you may mark one characteristic since the 
time of Ramanuja, — the opening of the door of spirituality 
to everyone. That has been the watchword of all the 
prophets before Sankara. I do not know why Sankara 
should be represented as rather exclusive ; I do not find 


Lihiral in 



Excluswt in 



ainy thing in his writings which is exclusire. Like' the de- 
clarations of the Lord Buddha this exclusiveness that has 
been attributed to Sankara's teachings is most possibly 
not due to his teachings but to the incapacity of his disci- 
ples. This ofte great Northern sage, Chaitanya, I will 
mention as the last and then finish. He represented the 
mad love of the Gopis. Himself a Brahmin, born of one 
of the most rationalistic families of the day, a professor ol 
logic, fighting and gaining a word-victory — for, this he had 
learnt from his childhood as the highest ideal of life — yet 
through the mercy of some sage, the whole life of that 
man became changed, he gave up his fighting, his quarrels, 
his professorship of logic, and became one of the greatest 
teachers of Bhakti the world has ever known,-— nsad 
Chaitanj^a. His Bhakti rolled over the whole land of 
Bengal bringing solace to every one. His love knew no 
bounds. The saint or the sinner, the Hindu or the Ma- 
hommedan, the pure or the impure, the prostitute, the 
street-walker — all had a share in his love, all had a share 
in his mercy, and even to the present day, although greatly 
degenerated, as everything does degenerate, yet his church 
is the refuge of the poor, of the down-trodden, of the out- 
cast, of the weak, of those who have been rejected by all 
society. But 1 must remark for truth's sake that in the 
philosophic sects we find wonderful liberalisna. There is 
not a man who follows Sankara who will say that all the 
different sects of India are really different. At the same 


time he was a stern upholder of exclusiveness as regards 
caste. But in every Vaishnavite preacher while we find 
a wonderful liberalism in their teaching on caste questions, 
we find exclusiveness as regai-ds religious questions. 

^The one had a great head, the other a large hearti 
and the time- was ripe for one to be born the embodiment 
«f this head and heart, the time was ripe for one to be 


bom who in one body would have the brilliant intellect 
of Sankara and the wonderfully expansive, infinite heart of ^'p^J^a- 
Chaitanya, one who would see in every sect the same ^^f^sa 
spirit working, the same God, as well as see God in every 
being, one whose heart would weep for the poor, for the 
weak, for the outcast, for the down-trodden, for every one 
in " this world, inside India or outside India, and at the 
same time whose grand brilliant intellect would conceivQ 
of such noble thoughts as would harmonise all conflicting 
sects, not only in India but outside of India, and bring a 
marvellous harmony, the universal religion of head and 
heart into existence ; such a man was born, and I had the 
good fortune to sit under his feet for years. The time was 
ripe, it was necessary that such a man should be born, and he , . 

came, and the most wonderful part of it was that his life's uniiy & 
work was just near a city which was full of western Jf^/Jg^oL 
thoughts, which had run mad after these occidental ideas, ^^^^g^^nd 
a city which had become more Europeanised than any ^^^f^* 
other city in India. There he was bom, without any book 
learning whatsoever, with his great intellect never could 
he write his own name, but everybody, the most brilliant 
graduates of our university, found in him an intellectual 
giant. That was a strange man. It is a long, long story, 
and I have no time to tell anything about him to-night. I 
had better stop, only mentioning the great Sri Ramakrish- 
na, the fulfilment of the Indian sages, the sage for the time, 
one whose teaching is just now, in the present time, most 
beneficial. And mark the divine power working behind the 
man« The son of a poor priest, born in one of the wayside 
villages of Bengal unknown and unthought of, to-day is 
worshipped literally by thousands in Europe and America, 
and to-marrow will be worshipped by thousands more. 
Who knows the plans of the Lord ? Now, my brothers, 
if you do not see the hand, the finger, of Providence it is 



because you are blind, born blind indeed. If time 
comes, and another opportunity, I will speak to you 
about him more fully, only let me say now that if I have 
told you in my life one word of truth it was his and his 
alone, and if I have told you many things which were not 
true, which were not correct, which were not beneficial to 
the human race, they were all mine, and on me is the 


A great deal of interest is attached to the appended 
lecture delivered to the Triplecane Literary Society in 
that it was mainly through discussion with the members 
of this Society that the Swami's great power became 
known, leading to his being sent to America, to represent 
the Hindu Religion at Chicago. He Said, — 

The problem of life is becoming deeper and broader 

ifcoraing to 

yedanfa iso- cvcry day as the world moves on. The watchword and the 

^mpos^u essence have been preached in the days of yore, when the 

Vedantic truth was first discovered, the solidarity of all life. 

One atom in this universe cannot move without dragging 

the whole world on with it. There cannot be any forward 

progress without the whole world following in the wake, 

and it is becoming clearer that the solution of any 

problem can never be attained on racial, or national, or 

narrow grounds. Every idea has to become broad till it 

""kerefort covcrs the whole of this world, ever)'^ aspiration must go on 

ffff/r/st^ increasing till it has engulfed the whole of humanity, nay, 

V unwiTsal ^j^g whole of life, within its scope. And, as such, if I may 

atioHoi be permitted to say so, cur country for the last few 

""'' centuries has not been what she was in the past. We find 

that one of the causes which led to this degeneration was 

the narrowing of our view, the narrowing of the scope 

of our actions^ Two curious things there have been. 


Sprung of the same race, but placed in different circumstan- 
ces and environments, working out the problems of life 
each in his own particular way, we find the ancient Hindu 
and the ancient Greek. The Indian Aryan with his vision 
towards the North, bound by the snow caps of the Hima- ofthtancim 

'tt ' 

lavas with fresh-water rivers like rolling oceans, surround- ^^^' 
ing him in the plains, with eternal forests which to him 
seemed to be the end of the world, went inside ; given the 
natural instinct, the superfine brain of the Aryan, with this 
sublime scenery surrounding him, the natural result was 
that he became introspective. Analysis of his own mind 
was the great theme of the Indo-Aryan. With the Greek, 
on the other hand, arriving at a part of the earth which 
was more beautiful than sublime, — the beautiful islands of ancient 
the Grecian Archipelago, — nature all around him generous ^''''^* 
yet simple, his mind went outside. It wanted to analj^se 
the external world. And, as a result we find that from 
India have sprung all the analytical sciences, and from 
Greece all sciences of generalisation. The Hindu mind 
went on in its own direction and produced the most mar- 
vellous results. There is no comparison, even at the pre- 
sent day, with the logical capacity of the Hindus, with the 
tremendous power which the Indian brain still possesses, fyucai^irit 
and we all know that our boys, in competition with the ^^^l^oi^uf 
boys of any other country are remarkably successful. At w« lost. 
the same time, when the national vigour went, perhaps one 
or two centuries before the Mahommedan conquest of 
India, this national faculty became so much exaggerated 
that it degraded itself, and we find some of this degrada- 
tion in everything in India, in art, in music, in sciences. 
No more was there that broad conception of art, no more 
the symmetry of form and sublimity of conception, but the 
general, attempt at the ornate and florid style had arisen. 

The originality of the race seemed to have been lost. In 


■hiusic no more the soul-stirring phrases of the ancient 
Sanskrit music, no more each note stands, as it were, on its 
own feet, and produces marvellous harmony, but each note 
has lost its individuality. The whole music is a jumble of 
notes, a confused mass of curves. That is the sign of 
degradation in music. So, if you analyse all your idealistic 
conceptions, you will find the same attempt at ornate 
figures, and loss of originality. And even into religion, 
5'^our special field, came the most horrible degradations. 
Larger the- What can you expect of a race which for hundreds of years 

nussHpersed" ,,,.,.. , ^ , , 

id by trijui, has been busy m discussmg such momentous problems as 

whether we should drink a glass of water with the right 

hand or the left ? What more degradation can there be 

than that the greatest minds of a country have been for 

several hundreds of years discussing about the kitchen 

whether I touch you. or you touch me and what is the 

penance for this touching ? The themes of the Vedanta, 

the most glorious, the sublimest conceptions of God and 

soul ever preached on earth, were half-lost, buried in the 

forests, preserved by a few Sannyasins while the rest of the 

nation discussed the momentous questions of touching each 

OH conquest' Other, aud drcss and food. The Mahohimedan conquest 

ihenation^^ gave US many of the good things which they had to teach 

vigour. us, no doubt ; even the lowest man in the world can teach 

something to the highest. At the same time they could 

not bring vigour into the race, till, for good or evil, the 

English conquest of India took place. Of course every 

conquest is bad for conquest is an evil, foreign government 

is an evil, but even through evil comes good sometimes, 

English con- and the great good of this English conquest is this. Eng- 

mZns of land, and the whole of Europe has to thank Greece for its 

^eaan^^' civilisation. It is Greece that speaks through everything 

fiuence in Europc. Every building, every piece of furniture has 

the impress of Greece upon it ; their science and their art 


are Grecian alone. To-day the ancient Greek is meeting 

the ancient Hindu on the soil of India. Thus, slowly and 

silently, their leaven has come, the broadening out, the 

life-giving, and the revivalist movement that we see all 

round us has been worked out by all these forces together. 

A broader and more generous conception of life is before thuspreseHt 

us, and, although at first we have been deluded a little and *^ii *^ ^n 

er view of 

wanted to narrow things down, we are finding out to-day lif^, 
that these generous impulses, these broader conceptions of 
life, are the logical conceptions of what is in our ancient 
books^ They are the carrying out to the rigorously logical 
effect of the primary conceptions of our own ancestors ; ^^^,^ ^^^ ^ 
that to become broad, to go out, to amalgamate, to univer- a^simikUum 

, ana expaU'^ 

salise, is the end of our aims. And all time we have been sion. 
making ourselves smaller and smaller, desiccating ourselves, 
contrary to the plans laid down in our scriptures. Several 
dangers are in the way and one is that of the extreme con- 
ception that we are the people in the world. With all my 
love for India, and with all my patriotism, and veneration 
for the ancients, I cannot but think that we have to learn 
many things from the world. We must be always ready 
to sit at the feet of all, to learn great lessons, for, mark you, 
every one can teach us great lessons. Says our great law- 
giver, Manu : " Receive some good knowledge even from ^/ j^^^^ 
the low bom and from the man of lowest birth, learn by 
service the road to heaven." We, therefore, as true 
children of Manu, must obey his commands, and be ready 
to learn the lessons of this life, or the life hereafter, from 
any one who can teach us. At the same time we must not 
forget that we have also to teach a great lesson to the asweUas u 
world. We cannot do without the world out&ide India ; it '^«^^. 
was our foolishness that we thought we could, and we have 
paid the penalty by about a thousand years of slavery. 
That we did not go out to compare ourselves with other 



is disgusting to him ; there is not the same stir, prehaps, 
the same amount of go, that rouses him instantly. Com- i 
pare the tragedies of Europe with our tragedies. The one 
is full of action, that rouses you for the moment, but when 
it is over there comes the reaction, and everjrthing is gone, 
washed off your brains, as it were. Indian tragedies are like 
the mesmerist's power, quiet, silent, but, as you go on study- 
ing them, they are upon you ; you cannot move ; you are 
bound ; and whoever has dared to touch our literature has 
felt the bondage and is bound for ever. 

Like the gentle dew that falls unseen and unheard, 
and yet brings into blossom the fairest of roses, so has 
been the contribution of India to the thought of the world. 
Silent, unperceived, yet omnipotent in its effect, it has 
revolutionised the thought of the whole, yet nobody knows 
when it did. It was once remarked to me " how difficult 
it is to ascertain the name of any writer in India," to 
which I replied, " That is the Indian idea." They are not 
like modern writers, who have stolen 90 per cent, of their 
ideas from other writers, and 10 per cent, are their own^ 
and who take care to write a preface in which they say, 
* For these ideas I am responsible. 

The great master minds, producing momentous results 
in the hearts of mankind, were content to write their 
books without even putting their names to them, to throw 
the book on society, and to die quietly. Who knows the 
writers of our philosophy, who knows the writers of the 
Puranas ? They all passed under the generic name of 
Vyasa, and Kapila, and so on. They have bee a true 
children of Sri Krishna. They have been followers of the, 
Gita ; they practically carried out the great mandate " To 
work you have the right, but not to the fruits thereof." 

Thus, gentlemen, India is working upon the world 
but one condition is necessary. Thoughts, like merchandise/ 


can onlj run through channels made by somebody^ 
Roads have to be made before even thought can travel 
from one place to another, and whenever in the history of 
the world a great conquering nation has arisen linking the 
different parts of the world together, then has poured 
through these channels the thought of India, and entered 
into the veins of every race. Before even the Buddhists 
were born, there are evidences accumulating every day 
that Indian thought penetrated the world. Ved§lnta, 
before Buddhism, had penetrated into China, into Persia, 
and the Islands of the Eastern Archipelago. Again, when 
the mighty mind of the Greek had linked the different ^^f^^j^;i 
parts of the Eastern world together, there came Indian ed the world 
thought ; and Christianity with all its boasted civihsation, 
is a collection of little bits from the Indian mind. Ours is 
the religion of which Buddhism, with all its greatness, is 
the rebel child, and Christianity the very patchy imitation. 
One of these cycles has again arrived. There is the 
tremendous power of England which has linked the 
different parts of the world together. English roads no 
more are content like Roman roads to run over lands, but 
they have ploughed the deep in every one of its parts. 
From ocean to ocean run the roads of England. 
Every part of the world has been linked to every other 
part, and electricity plays a most marvellous part as a new 
messenger. Under all these circumstances we find again 
India reviving and ready to give her own quota to the 
progress and civilisation of the world. That I have been 
forced, as it were, by nature, to go over to America and ^^Jl^te 
preach to England is the result. For every one of us ^f^^ , 
ought to have expected that the time had arrived. Every- channels y 
thing looks propitious, and Indian thought, philosophical civU^aO^m 
and spiritual, must once more go over and conquer the 
world. The problem before us, therefore, is assuming 



proportions every day. It is not only that we must revive 
our own country — that is a small matter ; I am an 
imaginative man, — but my idea is the conquest of the 
whole world by the Hindu race. 

There have been great conquering races^in the world. 
We also have been great conquerors. The story of our con- 
quest has been described by that great Emperor of India, 
Asoka, as the conquest of religion and of spirituality, 
Once more the world ipust be conquered by India. This is 
the dream of my life, and I wish that each one of you who 
hear me to-day should have the same dream in your minds 
and stop not till you have realised the dream. They will tell 
you every day that we had better look to our own homes 
first, then go to work outside. But I will tell you in plain 
language that you work best when you work for others. The 
best work that vou ever did for vourselves was when vou 
worked for others, trying to disseminate your ideas in 
foreign languages, beyond the seas, and this very meeting 
is proof how the attempt to enlighten other countries with 
your thoughts is helping your own country. One fourth 
of the effect that has been produced in this country by my 
going to England and America would not have been 
brought about had 1 confined my ideas only to India. This 
is the great ideal before us, and every one must be ready 
for it, — the conquest of the whole world by India — nothing 
less than that, and we must all get ready for it, strain ev- 
ery nerve for it. Let them come and flood the land with 
their armies, never mind. Up, India, and conquer^he 
world with your spirituality ! Aye, as has been declared 
on this soil first love must conquer hatred, hatred cannot 
conquer itself. Materialism and all its miseries can never 
wmts^' be conquered by materialism. Armies when they attempt 
uaiity. ^Q conquer armies only multiply and make brutes of 

humanity. Spirituality must conquer the West. Slowly 


they are finding it out that what they want ifi spirituality 
to preserve them as nations. They are waiting for it, they 
are eager for it. Where is the supply to come from ? 
Where are the men ready to go out to every country in the 
world with the messages of the great sages of India ? Where 
are the men who are ready to sacrifice everything so that 
this message shall reach every corner of the world ? Such 
heroic souls are wanted to help the spread of truth. Such 
heroic workers are wanted to go abroad and help to disse- 
mmate the great truths of the Vedanta. The world wants 
it ; without it the world will be destroyed. The whole of 
the Western world is on a volcano which may burst to- 
morrow. They have searched every corner of the world 
and have found no respite. They drunk deep of the cup 
of pleasure and found it vanity. Now is the time to work 
that India's spiritual ideas may penetrate deep into the 
West, Therefore, you young men of Madras, I specially 
ask you to remember this. We must go out, we must 
conquer the world through our spirituality and philosophy. 
There is no other alternative, we must do it or die. The 
only condition of national life, once more vigorous national 
life, is the conquest of the world by Indian thought. 

At the same time we must not forget that what I 
mean by the conquest of the world by spiritual thought is 
the sending of the life-giving principles, not the hundreds 
of superstitions that we have been hugginj^ to our breasts 
for centuries. These have to be weeded out, even on this 
soil, and thrown aside, so that they may die for ever. 
These are the causes of the degradation of the race, and will 
lead to softening of the brain. That brain which cannot 
think of higher and nobler thoughts, which has lost all power 
of originality, which has lost all vigour, that brain which is 
always poisoning itself with all sorts of little superstitions 
passing under the name of religion, we must beware of. 


lu our light here in India, there are seteral dangers. Of 
the«e the two, Scylla and Chary bdis, rank materialism and 
its rebound, arrant superstition, must be avoided. There 
u the man to-day who after drinking the cup of Western 
wisdom, thinks that he knows ever>'thing. He laughs at 
the ancient sages. All Hindu thought to him is arrant 
trash, philosophy mere child's prattle, and religion the 
superstition of fools. On the other hand, there is the man 
educated but a sort of monomaniac, who runs to the other 
extreme ; he wants to explain the otnen of this and that. 
He has philosophical and metaphysical, and all kijid of 
most puerile explanations for the superstitions that belong 
to his peculiar race, or his peculiar gods, or his peculiar 
village. Every httle village superstition is to him a 
mandate of the Vedas, and upon the carrying out of these 
according to him, depends the national life. You must 
JBtwart of beware of these. I would rather see everyone of j^ou 
'anrmysu^y ^^^ atlicists than supcrstitious fools, for the atheist is 
alive : 3^ou can make something out of him ; he is not dead. 
But if superstition enters, the brain is gone, the brain is 
softened, degradation has seized upon the life. Avoid 
these tw^o. Brave, bold men, these are what we want. 
What we want is vigour in the blood, strength in the 
nerves, iron muscles and nerves of steel, no softening 
namby-pamby ideas. Avoid these. Avoid all mystery. 
There is no mystery in religion. Is there any mystery in 
the Vedanta or in the Vedas or in the Samhitas, or in the 
PurSnas ? What secret societies did the sages of yore esta- 
blish to preach their rehgion ? What sleight of hand 
tricks are there recorded as used by them to bring their 
grand truths to humanity ? Mystery-mongering and 
superstition is always a sign of weakness, this is always a 
sign of degradation and of death. Therefore beware of it, 
be strong, stand on your feet. Great things are there. 


most marvellous things. We may call them supernatural 
things so' far as our ideas of nature go, but not one of these 
things is a mystery. It was never preached on this soil 
that the truths of religion were mysteries or that they 
were the property of secret societies sitting on snowcaps in 
the Himalayas. I have been in the Himalayas. You 
have not been. It is several hundreds of miles from your 
homes. I am a Sannyasin, and I have been for the last 
fourteen years on my feet. These do not exist anywhere. 
Do not run after these superstitions. Better for you and 
for the race that you become rank atheists, because you 
would at least have strength, but this is degradation and 
death. Shame on humanity that strong men should 
spend their time on these superstitions, spend all their 
time in inventing allegories, to explain the most rotten 
superstitions of the world. Be bold ; do not try to explain 
everything. The fact is we have many superstitions, 
many a bad spot, and a bad sore on our body — these have 
to be excised, cut oflF, and destroyed — but these do not 
destroy our religion, out national life, our spirituality. 
Every principle of religion is safe and the sooner these 
black spots are purged away the better the principles will 
shine, the more gloriously. Stick to them. 

You hear of claims made by every one of the different 
religions as being the universal rehgion of the world. Let 
me tell you in the first place that perhaps there never will 
be such a thing, but if there is a religion which can lay 
that claim, it is only ours and none else, because every 
other religion depends on some person or persons. All the 
other religions have been built round the life of what they 
think a historical man, and what they think the strengtlj 
of the religion is really the weakness, for disprove the 
history of the man and the whole building tumbles to the 
ground. Half the lives of these great founders of religions 

1 90 

have been broken into pieces, and the other half doubted 

very seriously. As such every truth that had its only 

sanction in their words vanishes into air again. But the 

truths of our religion although we have persons by the 

score do not depend on them. The gl9ry of Krishna is 

, ^ . not that he was Krishna, but that he was that great teacher 

only unu of Vcdauta. If he had not been, his name would have died 

Vr ^ out of India as the name of Buddha has. Thus our 

''tu^s allegiance is to the principles always and not to the persona. 

i not per- persons are but the embodiments, the illustrations of the 


principles. If the principles are there the persons will 
come by the thousands and miUions. If the principle is 
safe persons and Buddhas by hundreds and thousands will 
be born. But if the principle is lost and forgotten and the 
whole of national life tries to cling round a so-called 
historical person, woe unto that rehgion, danger unto that 
religion. Ours is the only religion, therefore, that does 
not depend on a person or persons ; it is based upon prin- 
ciples. At the same time, there is room for millions of 
persons. There is ample ground for introducing persons, 
but each one of them must be an illustration of the princi- 
ples. We must not forget that. These principles of our 
religion are all safe, and it should be the life work of every 
one of us to keep them safe to keep them free from the 
accumulating dirt and dust of ages ; it is strange that in 
spite of the degradation that seized upon the race again 
and again, these principles of the Vedanta were never 
tarnished. No one, however wicked, ever dared to throw 
dirt upon them. Our scriptures are the best preserved 
scriptures in the world. Compared to other books there 
have been no interpolations, no text torturing, no destroy- 
ing of the essence of the thought. It is there just as it was 
in the first place, directing the human mind towards the 
ideal, the goal. You jfind that these texts have been 


Commented upon by different commentators, preached by 
great teachers, and sects founded upon them, and you find 
that in these books of Ihe Vedas there are various Meas^ 
apparently contradictory. There are certain texts which 
are entirely dualistic, others are entirely monistic. The 
dualistic commentator, knowing no better, wishes to knock 
the monistic texts on the head. Preachers and priests^ 
want to explain them in the dualistic meaning. The 
monistic commentator serves the dualistic texts in a 
similar fashion. Now this is not the fault of the 
Vedas. It is foolish to attempt to prove that the 
whole of the Vedas are duahstic. It is equally fool- 
ish to attempt to prove that the whole of the Veda* 
are non-dualistic. They are dualistic and non-dualistic 
both. We understand it better to-day in the light of 
newer ideas. These are but several conceptions leading 
to the final conclusion and all these conceptions are neces- 
sary for the evolution of the mind; and therefore the Vedas 
preach them. In mercy to the human race the Vedas The vetfas 
show the various steps to the higher goal. Not that they f^H/ IT' 
are contradictory, vain words used by the Vedas to delude **'«^ 
children ; they are necessary, not only for children but for 
many a grown-up man. So long as we have a body iand 
so 4ong as we are deluded by the idea of the identity of 
the body, so long as we have five senses and see the 
external world, we have to use a personal God. For all 
these idea^, as the great Ramanuja has proved, about God 
and nature and the individualised soul, you must take if 
you take the one. You cannot avoid it. Therefore as 
long as you see the external world, to avoid a Personal 
God and a personal soul is arrant lunacy. But there may 
be times in the lives of sages when the human mind trans- 
cends as it were its own limitations, when man goes evea 
beyond nature, even beyond where the Smriti declared 


when it quotes *' From whence the words fall back with 
the mind without reaching the place. There the e5'e8 
cannot reach, nor the ears, we cannot say that we know 
it, we cannot say that we will know it." Even there the 
human soul transcends all limitations, and then and then 
alone, flashes into the human soul the conception of 
Monism that I and the whole universe are one, that I and 
the Brahman are one. And this conclusion you will find 
has not only been reached through knowledge and philo- 
sophy, but parts of it through the power of love. You 
read in the Bhagavad Gita when Krishna disappeared and 
the Gopis bewailed his disappearance, at last the thought 
of Krishna became so prominent in their minds that each 
one forgot her own body and thought she was Krishna and 
they began to hang things on themselves and to play in his 
light. We understand therefore that this identity comes 
even through love. There was an ancient Persian Sufi 
poet and one of his poems says — " I came to the beloved 
and behold the door was closed ; I knocked at the door 
and from inside a voice came ' Who is there ? ' I replied 
/ I am.' The door did not open. A second time I came 
and knocked at the door, and the same voice asked, ' Who 
is there ? ' ' I am so and so.' The door did not open. A 

third time I came and the same voice asked ' Who is 


there ? ' 'I and thou, my love,' and the door opened." 
These are, therefore, so many stages, and we need not 
quarrel about them, even if there have been quarrels 
among the ancient commentators whom all of us ought 
to revere, for there is no limitation to knowledge, there 
is no omniscience exclusively the property of any one, 
i^ ancient or modern times. If there have been sages 
and Rishis in the past, be sure that ther^ will be now. If 
there have been Vyasas and Valmikis and Sankaracharyas 
in a.ncient times, why may not each one of you become a 


SankarScharya. This is another point of our rehgion yon 
must always remember, that in all the other scriptures ins- 
piration is quoted as their authority, but this inspiration i« 
limited to one or two or very few persons, and through 
them the truth came to the masses and we have all to . 
obey them. Truth came to Jesus ot Nazareth and we 
must all obey him — we don't know anything more. And 
the truth came to the Rishis of India — the mantra-- 
drashtaSj the seers of thought— not talkers, not book-swal*- 
lowers, not scholars, not philologists, but seers of thought. 
" The Self is not to be reached by too much talking, not 
even by the highest intellects, not even by the study of the 
Scriptures." The Scriptures themselves say so. Do you find 
in any other Scripture such a bold assertion as that — not 
even by the study of the Vedas will you reach the Atinan ? 
You must open your heart. Religion is not going ta 
church, or putting marks on the forehead, or dressing in a 
peculiar fashion ; you may paint yourselves all the colori* 
of the rainbow, but if the heart has not been opened, if 
you have not realised God it is all vain. If one has the 
color of the heart he does not wait for any external color. 
That is the only religious realisation. We must no-t for- 
get that colors and all these things are good so far as they 
help, so far they are all welcome but thfey are apt to de- . 

generate and, instead of helping, they retard ; and a man externalities 
identifies religion with externalities. Going to the temple 
becomes tantamount to spiritual life. Giving something to- 
a priest becomes tantamount to religious life. These are 
dangerous, and pernicious, and should be checked. Our 
Scriptures declare again and again that even the knowledge 
of the external senses is not religion. That is religion 
which makes us reahse the Unchangeable One, and that 
is religion for every one. He who reahses transcendental 
truth, he who realises the Aiman in h\% own nature, ho 


\Bpiwer is ' 


who comes face to face with God, sees God alone in every- 
thing, has become a Rishi. It may have been thousands 
of years ago, it may be thousands of years to come, but he 
is the Rishi. And there is no reh'gious life for you until 
you have become a Rishi. Then alone Religion begins for 
you, now is only the preparation. Then religion dawns 
upon you now you, are only undergoing intellectual gymn- 
astic and physical tortures. We must therefore remember 
that our religion lays down distinctly and clearly that every 
one who wants salvation must pass through the stage of 
Rishihood — must become a manira-drashta, must see God. 
That is salvation. And therefore, if that is the law laid 
down by our scriptures, it becomes easy to look into the 
scripture with our own eyes, understand the meaning for 
ourselves, to analyse just what we want, and to understand 
the truth for ourselves. This is what has to be done. At 
the same time we must pay all reverence to the ancient 
sages for their work. They were great, these ancients, but 
we want to be greater. They did great work in the past, 
but we must do greater work than they. They had hundreds 
of Rishis in ancient India. We will have millions — we are 
going to have, and the sooner every one of you believes in 
this, the better for India, and the better for the world. 
Whatever you believe that you will be. If you believe 
yourselves to be. bold, bold you will be. If you believe 
j'ourselves to be sages, sages you will be to-morrow. There 
is nothing to obstruct you. For if there is one common 
doctrine that runs through all our apparently contradictory 
sects, it is that all glory, power and purity are within the 
»oul already ; only, according to Ramanuja, it contracts 
and expands at times, and according to Sankara it is a mere 
delusion. Never mind these difiFerences. All admit the truth 
that the power is there — potential or manifest it fs there — 
and the sooner you believe that the better for you. All power 


is within you ; you can do everything and anything. Be- 
lieve in that, do not believe that you are weak ; do not 
believe that you are half crazy lunatics, as most of us do 
now-a-days. But you can do everything and anything 
without even the guidance of any one. All power is there. 
Stand up and express the Divinity that is within you, 


The last lecture in Madras was given in a large tent 
in which over four thousand people were accommodated. 
The swami said : — 

This is the ancient land where wisdom made its home 
before it went into any other country, the same India indium 
whose influx of spirituality is represented on the material ^*t^^ 
plane by rolling rivers like oceans, where the eternal 
Himalayas, rising tier after tier, with their snowcaps, as it 
were, looking into the very mysteries of heaven. Here is 
the same India whose soil has been trodden by the feet of 
the greatest sages that ever lived. Here first arose inquiries 
into the nature of man, and into the internal world. Here 
first arose the doctrines of immortality of the soul, exis- 
tence of a supervising God, an immanent God in nature 
and in man, and here the highest ideals of religion and 
philosophy have attained their culminating points. This 
is the land from whence, like tidal waves, spirituality and 
philosophy have again and again marched out and deluged 
the world, and this is the land from whence once more such 
tides must proceed in order to bring life and vigour into 
the decaying races of mankind. It is the same India which 
has withstood the shocks of centuries, of hundreds of foreign 
invasions, of hundreds of upheavals of manners and cus- 
toms. It is the same land which stands firmer than any 
rock in the world with its undying vigour, and indestruc- 
tible life. Its life is of the same nature as the teaching 


^his past 
iould n9t 


^ud must 
tstOTi that 
zith in self 
> build a 
*.t greater 

'arieiy ef 
ake Indian 
ry contpli- 

about soul, without beginning and without end, immortal, 
and we are the children of such a country. Children of 
India, I am here to speak to you to-day about some 
practical things, and my object in reminding you about the 
glories of the past is simply this. Many times have I been 
told that looking into the past only degenerates and leads 
to nothing, let us look to the future. That is true. But 
out of the past is built the future. Look back, therefore, 
as far as you can, drink deep of the eternal fountains that 
are behind, and after that, look forward, march forward, 
and make India brighter, greater, much higher, than she 
ever was. Our ancestors were great. We must first know 
that. We must learn the elements of our being, the blood 
that courses in our viens, we must have faith in that blood, 
and in what it did in the past, and out of that faith, and 
consciousness of past greatness, w^e must build an India yet 
greater than what she has been. There have been periods 
of decay and degradation. I do not attach much impor- 
tance to that ; we all know that ; that period has been 
necessary. The mighty tree produces beautiful ripe fruit. 
That fruit is put in the ground, it decays, and rots, and out 
of that decay spring the root, and the future tree, perhaps 
mightier than the first one. This period ot decay through 
which we have passed was necessary. Out of this decay is 
coming the India of the future ; it is already sprouting, its 
first leaves are already out, and a mighty gigantic tree, the 
urdhwamfdam is here, already beginning to appear, and 
it is about that that I am going to speak to you. The 
problems in India are more complicated, more momentous, 
than the problems in any other country. Race, Religion, 
Language, Government — all these together make a nation. 
The elements which compose the nations of the world are 
indeed very few, taking race after race, compared to this 
country. Here have been the Aryan, the Dravidian, the 


Tartar, the Turk, the Moghul, the European, all the nations 
of the world, as it were, pouring their blood into this land. 
Of languages the most wonderful conglomeration is here, 
of manners and customs there is more difference bet- 
ween two Indian races than between the European 
and the Eastern races. The one common ground that Religion, tk 
we have is our sacred traditions, our rehgion and upon ^^l^°XZ° 
that we shall have to build. In Europe political ideas ^^^* 
form the national unity. In Asia religious ideas form 
the national unity. Unity in religion, therefore, is abso- 
lutely necessary as the first condition of the future of India. 
There must be the recognition of one religion throughout 
the length and breadth of this land. What do I mean by 
one religion ? Not in the sense of one religion among the 
Christians, or the Mahommedans, or the Buddhists, but we 
know that our religion has certain common grounds, common 
to all our sects, however varying their conclusions may be. 
Yet there are certain common grounds, and, within the limi- 
tation, this religion of ours admits of a marvellous varia- 
tion, an infinitive amount of liberty to think and live our 
own lives. We all know that, that is, those of us who 
have thought ; and what we want is to bring out 
these life-giving common principles of our religion, to let 
every man, woman, and child, throughout the length and 
breadth of this country, understand them, know them, and W^^^ ^^1^ 
try to brmg them out m their lives; Ihis is the first step, cuUiesvan* 
therefore, that is to be taken. We see how in Asia, and es- 
peciallj" in India, race difficulties, linguistic difficulties, so- 
cial difficulties, national difficulties all melt away before 
this unitying power of religion. We know that to the 
Indian mind there is nothing higher than that of religious 
ideals, that this is the key-note of Indian life, arid we can 
only work in the line of least resistance. Not only is it 
true that the ideal of religion is the highest ideal ; in the 



case of India it is the only possible ideal of work ; work 

in any other line, without first strengthening this, would 

be disastrous. Therefore, the first plank in the making of 

a future India, the first step that is to be hewn out of that 

rock of ages, is this unifying of religion. We have to be 

^mg 9f taught that Hindus, Dualists, Qualified Monists, or Monists, 

^rS^pin ^^ ^^y other sect, Saivites, Vaishnavites, Pasupatis, all the 

^fj^^g various denominations, have certain common ideas behind, 

f future ' ' 

ndia, that the time has come when, for the well-being ourselves, 

for the well-being of our race, we must give up our diflfer- 
erences and quarrels. Be sure they are wrong entirely that 
they are condemned by our scriptures, forbidden by our fore- 
fathers, and that those great men from whom we claim our 
descent, whose blood is in our veins, look down with con- 
tempt on their children quarrelling about very minute diff- 
erences. With this all other improvements will come. 
When the life-blood is strong and pure no disease germ 

^f^fi^ia- ^^ ^^^® ^^ ^^^^ body. Our life-blood is that spirituality. 
utyand If it flows clcar, if it flows strong, and pure, and vigorous, 

9UT nation^ o » t» 

iiife wiu all is well. Political, social, any other material defects even 
'ufrom de- ^'^ poverty of the land, will be all cured if that blood is 
'**^' pure. For if the disease germ be thrown out, nothing will be 

able to enter into the blood. To take a simile from modern 
medicine we know that there must be two causes to pro- 
duce a disease, some poison germ outside, and the state of 
the body. Until the body is in a state to admit the germs 
until the body is degraded to a lower vitality, so that the 
germs may enter and thrive, and multiply, there is no* 
power in any germ in the world to produce a disease in 
any body, In fact, millions of germs are continually pass- 
ing through eveyone's body ; but so long as it is vigorous 
it never is conscious of them. It is only when the body 
is weak that these germs take possession of the body 
and produce diseaji<e. Just so with the national life, * It is 


when the national body is weak that all sorts of disease 
germs in the political state of the race, or, in its social 
state, or in eny educational, intellectual state, crowd into 
the system and produce disease. To remedy it therefore, 
we must go to the root of this disease, and cleanse the 
blood of all impurities. The one tendency will be to 
strengthen the man, to make the blood pure, the body 
vigorous, so that it will be able to resist and throw out all 
external poisons, and we have seen that our vigour, our 
strength, nay, our national life, is in our religion. I am not 
going to discuss now whether it is true or not, whether it is 
correct or not ; whether it is beneficial or not, in the long 
run, to have this vitality in religion, but for good or evil it 
is there, you cannot get out of it, you have got it now and 
forever and you have to stand by it, even if you have 
not the same faith that I have in our religion. You are y,^^ ^ ^^ 
bound by it, if you give it up, you will be smashed the race has 

_,,.,_.-- - , survived afti 

into pieces. That is the life of our race, and that we must fa 
must be strengthened. You have withstood the shocks of i^J^J^^' 
centuries simply because you took great care of it, because ^^^^ » *^ 
you sacrificed everything for it. Your forefathers underwent 
ever}^thing boldly, even death itself, but preserved their 
religion. Temple after temple was broken down by the 
foreign conqueror, and no sooner had the wave passed than 
the spire of the temple rose up again. Some of these old 
temples of Southern India, some like Somanth of Gujerat, 
will teach you volumes of wisdom, will give you a keener 
insight into the historj^ of the race than any amount of 
books. Mark how this temple bears the marks of a hund- 
red attacks, and a hundred regenerations, continually 
destroyed, and continually springing up out of the ruins 
rejuvenated and strong as ever I That is the national 
mind, that is the national life current. Follow it, and it 
leads to glory. Give it up and you die ; death will be the 


'^ow to 
h-i spiritual' 
f y of the 

he spiritual 
ieas in our 

h them in 
Sanskrit as 
teU as the 

only result, annihilation • the only effect, the moment yote 
step beyond that life current. I do not mean to say that 
other things are not necessary. I do not mean to say that 
political or social improvements are not necessary, but 
what I mean is this, and I want you to bear it in mind 
that they are secondary here,, religion primary. The Indian 
mind is first religious, then anything else. Thfs is to be 
strengthened. How to do ft ? I want to lay before you 
my ideas. These have been in my mind for a long time-, 
years before I left the s^hores of Madra* for America,, and 
that 1 went, to America and England w^s simply for this 
reason. I did not care at all for the Parliament of Reli- 
gions, it was simply an opportunity ; for that was the idea 
that took me all over the world. My idea is fiRt of all ta 
bring out these gems of spirituality that are as it were- 
stored up in our books, and in the possession of a few, hid- 
den, as it were, in monasteries and in forests, not only the 
knowledge from the hands where it is hidden, but from the* 
still more inaccessible chest, ths language in which it is pre- 
served, the incrustation of centuries of Sansl^rit words. In' 
one word I want to make them popular, I want to bring 
out these ideas and let them be the common property of all, 
of every man in India, whether he knows the Sanskrit Ian- 
guage or not. The great difficulty in the way i*^ this Sans- 
knt language, this glorious language of ours, and this diffi- 
culty cannot be removed until, it it be possible, the whole of 
our nation consists of good Sanskrit scholars, and you will 
just understand the difficulty if I tell you that I have been 
studying this language all my life, and yet every new book 
is new to me. How much more difficult would it be for 
people who never have time to study the language thorough- 
ly ? They must be taught in the language of the people ; 
at the same time, Sanskrit education must go along with it, 
because with that Sanskrit education the very sound of 


Sanskrit words gives a prestige and a power and a strength 
to the race. The attempts of the great Ramanuja, and of 
Chaitanya and of Kabir to raise the lower classes of India 
rfiow that marvellotts results were attained at the time of 
the lives of those great prophets, yet the later failures have 
to be explained, why the effect stopped almost within a cen- 
tnry of the passing away of these great masters. The secret 
i^ here. They raised the lower classes ; they had all the wish 
that they should come up, but they did not put their energies 
to the spread of the Sanskrit language among the masses. 
Kven the great Buddha made o«e false step in the move- 
ment when he stopped the Sanskrit language from being ]^^^^^ 
studied bv the masses. He wanted rapid and hurried work *^f catseo/ 
and translated and preached in the language of the day, of reformers 
Pali. That was grand, the people understood him, he was ^ ^ 

sj>eaking in the language of the people. That wa.-^ great ; 
it spread the ideas Quickly and made them reach far and 
"wide, but, along with that, Sanskrit ou^ht to have gone. 
Knowledge would come, but the prestige .was not there, 
culture was not there. It is culture that withstands shocks, 
not a simple mass of knowledge. You can put a mass of ^ampresl 
knowledge into the world, but that will not do it much ^^^/ 
good. There must come culture into the blood. We all 
know in moderv history, of nations which have masses of 
knowledge, but what of them ? They are like tigers, they 
are like savages, because culture is not there. Knowledge 
is only skin-deep, as civilisation is, and a little scratch 
brings out the old savage. SuqIi things haj^en., Tliis is 
the danger. Teach the masses^ in the vernaculars, give 
them ideas ? They will get information, but something 
moie is necessary ; give them culture. Until you can give 
them that, there is no permanence of this raised condition 
of the masses ; there will be another caste created whSch 
possesses the advantage of the knowledge of the Sanskrit 



language which will quickly rise above the rest, and nile 
^Sw^it ^^®™' T^® ^"ly safety, I tell you, men who belong to the 
is tie only lower cawStcs, the onlv way to raise your condition is to 
^levaium of study Sanskrit, and this fighting and writing, and frothing, 
'*'^*^* against the higher castes is in vain, it does no good, and it 
creates fighting and quarrel and this race, unfortunately 
alreadv divided, is going to be divided more and more. 
The only way to bring about levelling ideas of caste is to 
appropriate the culture, the education, which is the strength 
of the highest castes. That done, you have what you want. 
In connection with this I want to discuss one question 
A an rer- ^^^^ ^^s a particular bearing with regard to Madras, there 
vQADrmndi- is a theory that there was a race of mankind in Southern 
India, India called the Dravidians entirely diflferiog from another 

race in Northern India called the Aryans, and that the Sou- 
thern India Brahmins are the only Arj^ans that came from 
the North, the rest of Southern Indian n^ackind are 
entirely different caste and race to those of Southeni 
India Brahmins. This is entirely unfounded. The only 
proof of it is that there is a difference of language between 
the North and the South. I do not see any other difference. 
We are so many Northern men here, and I ask my Euro- 
pean friends to pick out the Northern and Southern men 
from this assembly. Where is the difference ? A little diffe- 
rence of language. But the Brahmins are a race that came 
here speaking the Sansknt language I Well then, they took 
up the Dravidian language and forgot their Sanskrit 
Why have not the other castes done the same ? Why did 
not all the other castes come one after the other from Nor- 
thern India, forget their language, and take up the Dravi-^ 
dian ? That is an argument working both ways. Do not 
believe in such things. There may have been a Dravidian 
people, who vanished from here, and the few "who remain 
ai^ m forests and other places. Quite possible that the. 


language may have been taken up, but they are also all 
Aryans coming from the North ; the whole of India is Aryan 
nothing else. Then there is the other idea that the Sudra 
caste are surely the aborigines. What are they ? They are 
slaves. They say history repeats itself. Because the Ameri- 
cans, and English, and Dutch, and Portuguese got hold of 
the poor Africans, made them work hard while they lived 
and threw them aside when they died and because their 
children of mixed birth were made into slaves and kept in 
that condition long — from that example, the mind jumps 
back several thousand years, and the same thing is sup- 
posed to be repeated here ; and the archaeologist dreams 
that India was full of dark-eyed aborigines, and the bright 
Aryan came from, the Lord knows where. According to 
some they came from Central Thibet, others will have it 
that they came from Central Asia. There are patriotic 
Englishmen who think that the Ar)ran9 were a'l red-haired. 
Others think they were all black-haired, according to their 
own choice. If the writer happens to be a black-haired man 
the Aryans were all black. Of late there was an attempt 
made to prove that the Aryans lived on the "Swiss lakes. 
Some say now that they lived at thfe North Pole. As for 
the truth of it, there is not one word in our scriptures, not 
one to prove that he has ever come from any where which 
makes the Aryan go further than India, and in ancient In- 
dia was included Afghanistan ; there it ends. The theory 
that the Sudra caste were all non-Aryan?, is equally illo- 
gical, and equally irrational. It would not have been pos- 
sible in those days for a few setthng Aryans to live there d x • -i 
with a hundred thousand slaves at their back. These slaves only one 
would have eaten them up, destroyed them in five minutes, begmmmi. 
The only explanation is to be found in the Mahabharata, 
which says that in the beginning of the Satyayuga there 
was one caste, the Brahmins^ and then, by difference ot 


occupation/ they went on dividing them^lves into all 
these diSereticeis of caste that is the only tnse and rational 
Jt^^agfit explanation thathas been given. InthecomingSatyayugaall 
the other castes will have to go back to the sanoie condition 
The soultion of the caste-problem in India,therefore assumes 
this torm, not to degrade the higher castes, not to outcnish 
ofcmtK tj to the Brahmin. The Brahminhood is the idea of humanity 
#r fwf^ in India, as wonderfully put forward by Sankarachlrjra at 
B^jff;«. the beginning of his commentary on the Gita, where he 
wants to speak about the reason of Krishna oomiog as a 
preacher, for the ptesenration of Brahminhood, of Brahmin- 
ness. That was the great end. This Brahmin, the man 
of God, he who has known Drahnmn^ the ideal man, the 
perferct man, must remain ; he must not go. And with all 
the defect of the caste system now, we know tijat we must 
all be ready to give to them tliis credit, that from them 
have come mtM'e men with that real Brahminncfs in them 
than from all the other castes. That is true. That is the 
credit due to them from all the othfer castes. We must be 
bold, must be brave, to speak their defects, but at the same 
time give the credit tliat is due to them. Therefore, my 
friends, it is no use fighting among the castes ; what good 
will it do ? It vdll divide us all the more, weaken vA all the 
more, degrade us all the more. The days of exclusive privil- 
eges and exclusive claims are gone, gone for ever from the 
soil of India, and it is one of the great blessings of the 
British Rule of India. Even to the Mahommedan rule we 
owe that great blessing, destruction of exclusive privilege. It 
was after all not all bad, nothing is all bad, and nothing is 
all gpod. The Mahommedan conquest of India came as a sal- 
vation to the down-tiodden, to the poor. That is why one- 
fifth of our people have become Mahommedans. It was 
not all the sword tliat did it. It would be the height of 
madness to think it was all sword and fire. And oae-fiftli— * 


one half — of your Madra3 people will become Christians if 
you do not take care. Was there ever a f^iUier thing befoxe 
the world than what I saw in Malabar country. The poor 
Pdriah is not allowed to pass through the same street as 
the high-caste man, but if he changes his name to an English 
name he is all right ; or to a Mahonmiedan name, he is all 
fighL What inference would you draw, except that these 
Malabaris are all lunatics, their homes so many lunatic asy- 
lums, and that they are to be txeated with derision by every 
race in India until they mend their manners and no better. 
Shame upon them that such wicked customs aie allowed ; 
there own children allowed to die of starvation, and, as 
soon as those diildren belong to somebody else, feeding 
them £aLL There ought to be no more discussions between 
the castes. The solution is not by biin^g down the 
higher, but by raising the lower up to the level of the Tikmuii 
higher. And that is the lane of wofk that has been laid ^J^^ 

down in all our books, in spite of what you may hear from ^ aacimtk 
some people whose knowledge of their own scriptures and 
whose capacity to understand the mighty plans of the 
ancients are only zero. They do not understand, but 
those do thit have brtins, that have the intellect to grasp 
the whole scope of the work. They stand aside and fol-. 
low the wonderful procession of national life through the 
ages. They can trace step by step through all the books, 
ancient and modern. What is the plan ? The ideal at one 
end is the Brahmin, and the ideal at the other end is the 
Chandala, and the whole work is to raise the Chandila up 
to the ^pahmia. Slowly you find more and more privileges 
granted to them. There are books where you read such 
fierce words as these : " If the Sudra hears, fill his ears 
with molten lead, and if he remembers a line, cut him to 
pieces. If he says to the Brahmin 'you Brahmin' cut 
his tongue out" This is diabolical old barbaijam no doubt 


but do not blame the law-givers who simply record tht 
customs of some section of the community. Such devils 
arose among those ancients. There have been such every 
where, more or less, in all ages. Accordingly you will find 
that later this tone is modified a little ; as for instance— 
*' Do not disturb the Sudras but do not teach them higher 
things.'^ Then gradually we find in other Smritis, especi- 
ally in those that have full power now, that if the Sodran 
^mitate the manners and customs ot the Brahmins they do 
well, they ought to be encouraged. Thus it is going on, 
1 have no time to place before you all these workings, nor 
how they can be traced in detail ; but coming to plain 
facts, we find that all the castes are to rise slowly, how 
even there are thousands of castes, and some even getting 
admission into Brahmin-hood, for what prevents any 
caste from declaring^they are Brahmins ? Caste, with all 
its rigour, has been created in that mannen Let us sup- 
pose there are several castes with ten thousand people 
each« If they unite and say we will call ourselves Brahmins 
nothing can stop them : I have seen it in my own life. 
Some castes become strong, and a^ soon as they all agree, 

^Ms was thi ^^^ ^* ^^ ®^y ^^y ^ Because, whatever they were, each 

uthod of caste was exclusive of the other. It did not meddle with 

\ersUke Other's affairs, even the several divisions of one caste 

^ankara. ^jj ^^^ meddle with the other divisions. And those great 

epoch-makers, Sankaracharya and others, were the great 

caste-makers. I cannot tell you all the wonderful things 

they manufactured, and some of you might strongly resent 

what I have to say. But in my travels and experience I 

have traced them out, and most wonderful results I have 

arrived at. They would sometimes get whole hordes of 

Beluchis and make them Kshatrias in one minute, whole 

hordes of fisherman and make them Brahmins in one 

minute* They were all Rishis and eages, and we have to 


bow down to their memory. Well, be vou all Rishis and 
lages. That is the secret. More or less, we shall all ba 
Rishis. What is meant by a Rishi ? The pure one ; 
be pure first, and you will have power. Simply saying 
" I am a Rishi " will not do, but when you are a Rishi,, 
you will find that others obey you somehow or other. 
Something mysterious comes out from you which makes 
them follow you, makes them hear you, makes them, 
unconsciously even, against their will, carry out your plan?* 
That is Rishi-hood. 

Now these are not details. Details have to be evol- 
ved through generations. But this is merely a suggestion 
in order to show you that these quarrels should cease. 
Especially do I regret that in modern times there should mm to de- 
be so much discussion between the castes. This must j2X« ^must 
cease. It is useless on both sides ; on the side of the hi^h- ^^M '- 

' ^ etevatt§n oj 

er caste, especially the Brahmins, because the day for ^^ ^^^^^ 
these privileges and exclusive claims is gone. The duty 
of every aristrocacy is to dig its own grave, and the 
sooner it does the better. The more it delays, the more 
it will fester and the worse death it will die. It is the 
duty of the Brahmin, therefore, to work for the salvation 
of the rest of mankind in India. If he does that, and so 
long as he does that, he is a Brahmin, but he is no Brah- 
min when he goes about making money. You on the 
other hand should give help only to the rightful Brahmin, 
who deserves it ; that leads to heaven, but sometimes 
gifts to another person who\ does not deserve it leads \x> 
the other place, says our scripture^ You must be on your 
guard about that. He only is the Brahmin who has no 
secular employment. Secular employment is not for the 
brahmin but for the other castes. To the Brahmins I 
appeal that they must work hard to raise the Indian people 
by teaching them what they know, by giving out the cul- 



min ffrtrt 

ire&sury tjf 

Tkf mm- 

m^.ist a:<pizre 

ture that tlie]^ hare accumulated for centuries. It is the 
dat3% clearl)^ of the Brahmins of India to remember that 
they are really Brahmins, As Manu saysy " All these pri- 
vileg^es and honors are given to the &ahmin because with 
him is the treasury of virtue." You must open that treasury 
and distribute it to the world. It is true that be was the 
earliest preacher to the Indian races, he was the first to at- 
tain to higher realisation of life before others could readi 
the idea. It was not his fault that he mardied a head of 
the other castes. Why did not the other castes so under- 
stand ? Why did the others first sit down and be laz\%and 
make the race between the hare and thetortoise?-JBut it is 
one thing to gain an advantage, and another thing to pre- 
serve it for evil use. Whenever pawer is used for evil it 
becomes diabolical ; it must be used for good. So thi§ 
accumulated culture of ages of which he lias been the 
trustee be must now give to the people at large, and it was 
because he dM not give it to the people at large that the 
Mahommedan invasion happened. It was because he did 
not open this treasury to the people from the b^inning that 
for a thousand years we have been trodden under the heels 
of every one who chooses to come into India,^ it was 
through that we have become degraded, and that must be 
the first task to break c^en the cells that hide the wonder- 
ful treasures which our common ancestors accumulated, 
bringing them out, and giving them to everybody, and the 
Brahmin must do it first. Tliere is an old superstition in 
Bengal that if the cobra that bites sud^s out his own poison 
the patient must survive. Well then,, tlie Brahmin most 
suck outhis own poison. To the non-Brahmin castes^ I say, 
wait, he not in a hurry. Do not seize every opportunity 
of fighting the Brahmin, because I have shown you that 
you are suffering from your own fault. Who told you to 
Beglect spirituality and Sanskrit learning. What fcave 


vera been doing aUthis time ? Why^Bare yon been indiiierent 
and now fret and fume because sombody else had more 
brains, more energy, more pluck and go than you ; instead 
of wasting your energies in these vain discussions and 
qtiarrels in the pages of our newspapers/^instead of trying 
to fight and quarrel in your own home, which is sinful,, use 
all your energies in acquiring the culture which the 
Brahmin,, has and the thing i» done. Why do you not 
become Sanskrit scholars ? Why do you not spend millions 
to bring Sanskrit education among all the castes of India ? 
The moment you do that yoa are equal to the Brahmin. 
That is the secret of power in India. 

Sanskrit and prestige go together. As soon as you 
have that none dares say anything "against j'ou. That is 
the one secret : take that up. The wh<de universe,, to use ,„.„ 
theanaent Advaitist simile, is in a state of self-hypnotism; er. 
It is the will that is the power. It is the man of strong 
will that throws,, as it weire, a halo round him, and brings 
all the other pec^le to the same state of vibration that he 
has in his own mind ; such gigantic men appear^ And 
what is the idea ? That, just as in the case of one power- 
ful individual, when many of us have the same tho^ht,. 
we become powerful. Why is it, to take a case in hand, 
that forty millions^of Englishmen nde three-hundred milli- ^^^*^'f" 
ons of people here? You say organisation is matenal. and win Hk 
What is the psychological explanation ? These forty ^^/^ "^ 
millions can put their wills together,, and that means 
infinite power and you three-hundred millions are each 
separate from the other.. Therefore, to make a great future 
India, the whole secret lies in that organisation,* accumula- 
tion, co-ordination of powers, of wills^ Already, before 
my mind rises one of the marvellous verses of the 
Aiharvana Veda SamJuta which says. " Be you all of one 
mind^ be you all of one thought,, for in the days of yore,. 




the gods being of one mmd, were enabled to reoemr 
oblations."' The gods can be worshipped by men because 
they were ol one mind, and that is the secret of society* 
. And the more you fight and qnarrel aboat trivialities such 

tOr qmrnr- as ** Diavidian " and " Ary^x^^' *^ Brahmins " and ** non 
Brahmins," the farther yon are from that accumulation of 
eneigy and power which is to make the future India. For^ 
mark you, the future India depends entirely upon that. 
This is the secret, accumulation of the will-powers, oo- 
^ ordination, bringing them all, as it were, into one focus, 
dsmae Each Chinaman thinks his own wa}% and a handful of 
Japanese tliink all in the same way and you know the 
result. That fe how it goes tlwoug^out the history of the 
world. You find compact little nations always ruling 
bi^e unwieldy nations and it is natural, because it is 
easier for the little compact nations to bring tlieir ideas 
into the same focus, and they become deveIope<?. And 
the bigger the nation, the more un wieidy they are, bom as 
it were a disorganised mob, they cannot comtMue, All 
these quarrels must cease. 

There is yet another defect in us. TIiraugTi centuries 
of slavery we have became like a prack of women. You 
scarcely can get three women together in this country or 
any country in the world for fire minutes', but they 
mmfjtm- quarrel. They make hlg societies in Europeatr countries, 
and make tremendous declarations of woman^s power and 
so on ; then they quarrel^ and some maw comes and 
rules them all. They require some man to rule them yet, 
all over the world. . We are like that ; women we are. If 
a woman comes to lead them they all begin immediately 
to criticise her, tear her to pieces, and make her sit d©wm 
If a man comes, and gives them a little Irarsli treatment, 
scolds them now and then, it is all right, they have 
been used to that naesmerism. The whole worid is futt 




^f mesmerists and hypnotists. We are like that. If one 
man stands up and tries to become great, you all try to 
hold him down, and if a foreign man comes and tries to 
kick you, it is all right. You have been used to it Slaves 
must become great masters ; so give that up. This shall be 
your keynote, the great mother, for the coming fifty years, 
and all other vain gods may disappear for that time. All 
other gods are sleeping. This alone is the God that is 
awake, jrour own race, everywhere his hands, everywhere 
his feet, everywhere his ears, he covers everything. What 
vain gods will you go after and yet cannot worship the 
God that we see all around us, the ViraL When you have 
worshipped this you will be able to worship all other gods. 
Before you can crawl half a mile, you want to cross the 
^cean, like Hanuman, It cannot be. Every one going to 
be a Vo^Sf everyone going to meditate ? It cannot be. 
The whole day mixing with the world, with Karma Kdnda^ 
and in the evening sitting down and blowing through your 
nose. It it so easy, Rishis coming Sying through the air 
because you have blown three times through the nose ? Is 
it a joke, all nonsense ? What is needed is ChiUaiuddhifjiUr 
rification of the heart, and how does that come ? The first M **^ ^ 

^ skip •/ ike 

ot all, worship is the worship of the Virdl, those all around ; Virmty^ wmr 

worship it, not serve. No other English word will do ^yi 
there. Worship is the exact Sanskrit word. These are ^^^ JfL 
all your gods, men and animals, and the first gods 3^ou have 
to worship are your own fellow-countrymen. That is 
what 5'ou have to worship instead of being jealous of each 
other and fighting each other. It is the most terrible 
Karma for which you are suffering and yet it will not 
open your eyes. 

The subject is so great I do not know where to stop, 
and I must bring my lecture to a close by placing before Myplau. 
you in a few words the plans I want to carry out in Ma dias 


Education is- 
to he in our 

Evils of the 


We must have a hold on 'the spiritual and secnlar ednca- 
tien of the nation, Don you realise that ? You must dream 
you must talk, you must think, and you must work. Till, 
then there is no salvation for the race. The education that 
you are, getting now has some good points, but it has a 
tremendous disadvantage and this disadvantage is so great 
that the good things are all weighed down. In the first 
place it is not a man-making education, it is merely and 
entirely a negative education. A negative education, or any 
training that is given to negation, is worse than death. 
The child is taken to school and the first thing he learns 
is that his father is a fool, second his grand father is a crazy 
lunatic, the third that all his teachers are hypocrites, the 
fourth that all sacred books are lies ! By the time he is 
sixteen he is a mass of negation, lifeless and boneles. And 


the result is that fifty years of such education has not pro- 
duced{on©^\manlin the three Presidencies. Every man of 
originality that has been produced has been educated 
elsewhere, not in this country, or they have gone to the 
old universities once more to cleanse themselves of super- 
stitions. This is not education. Education is not the 
amount of information that is put into your brain and 
running riot there, undigested, all your life. We must have 
life-building, man-making, character-making, assimilation 
of ideas. If you have assimilated five ideas and made them 
5^our life and character, you have more education than any 
man who can give by heart a whole library. Valhd 
haraschandana bhdravdhi bhdrasya vettd na tu chanda' 
nasyo. ** The ass carrying its load of sandalwood knows 
only the weight, and not the value of the sandalwood." If 
education is identical with information, the libraries are the 
greatest sages in the world, encyclopaedias, are the Rishis. 
The ideal, therefore, is that we must have the whole edu- 
cation of our country, spiritual and secular, in our own 


hands, and it must be on national fines fhrough naBbnal 
noethedsy as &t as practicable. Of course this is a very big 
t>rder, a big plan, I do net know whether it will ever ^'^/^ 
work ijtself out. But we must begdn the work. How ? For ducudo* 
instance take Madras. We must have a temple ; for, with seuaruM 
Hindus, religion must come first Then, you say, all sects ^^^' 
will quarrel about the temple. We will make a non-«cetarian 
temple, giving only Om as the symbol, the greatest symbol 
of any sect. If there is any sect here which believes that 
Om ought not to be the symbol it has no right to be 
Hindu. All will have the right to be Hindus. 
All will have the right to interpret, each one 
according to his own sect ideas, bat we must have a com^ 
mon temple. You can each have your own images and 
symbols in other places, but do not quarrel here with the 
others who differ fmm you. Here will be taught the 
<x>mmon grounds of our difiEerent sects, and at the same 
time the different sects will have perfect liberty to come 
there and teach their doctrines, only with one restriction, 
donotqaarrel with other sects. Say what you have to 
say, the world wants it, but the world has no time to hear 
what you think about other people, keep that to your* 
«elves. Second^, along with this temple there will be an 
institutu>n to train teachers and preachers. These teachers atiar amd 
must go about preaching religion and .giving secular edu- ^^^J^^ 
cation to our people ; they must carry both, as we kavo 
been already carrying religkm, from door to door. Let us^ 
along with it, carry secular education from door to door. 
That can be easily done. Then it will extead iin its wcH-k* 
ing c^der to train these bands of teachers and preachers^ 
and gradually we shall have these temples in other centres, 
until we have covered the w^hole of India. That is the 
plan. It may appear gigantic. But it is needed. You may 
SL^k where is the money. Money is not needed. Money is 



nothing. Por tlie last twelve years of my Efe I did not 
^"uJia 1^1^^ where the next meal would come from, but money 
frr/ Out and everything I want must oome because they are my 
slaves and not I theirs ; money and everything else must 
oome — must, that is the word. Where are the men ? That 
is the question. I have told you what we have become. 
Where are the men ? Young men of Madras, my hope is 
in you. Do you respond to the call of your nation ? Each 
one of you has a glorious future, if you dare believe me. 
Have the tremendous faith in yourselves, which I had when 
I was a child and 1 am working it out. Have that faith, 
each one, in yourself, that eternal power is lodged in every*" 
one of our souls. You will revive the whole of India. Aye, 
we vdll go to every country under the sun, and our idea, 
must be, within the next ten years, a component of the 
many forces that .are working to make up every nation in 
the world. We must enter into the life of every nation in 
the world. We must enter into the life of every race, 
inside India and outside India ; we will work. That is how 
it should be. I want j^'oung men. Sa3^ the Vedas, *^ It s 
the strong, the healthy, of sharp intellect, and young, that 
will reach the Lord." This is the time to decide your 
future ; with the energy of youth, when you have not 
been worked out, nor jaded but still in the freshness and 
vigour of youth. Work ; this is the time ; for the 
freshest, the most untouched, and unsmelled flowers alone 
are to be laid at the feet of the Lord. He receives. Get 
up, therefore, greater works are to be done than picking 
quarrels, and becoming lawyers, and such thmgs, A far 
greater work is this sacrifice of yourselves for the benefit 
of your race, for the wel&re of humanity, for life is short. 
What is in this life ? You are Hindus, and there is the 
instinctive belief in you that life is eternal. Sometimes I 
have 3'ou9g men in Madras coining and talking to me 


abont Atheism, I do not believe a Hindfi can become ah 
Atheist. He may read European books, and persuade 
himself he is a materialist but only for five months,, mark 
y6u. It is not in your blood. You cannot believe what is 
not in yoin* constitiRion ; it would be a hopeless taesk for 
you. Do not attempt that sort of thing. I once attempted 
it when I was a boy ; but it could not be. Lite is short, bu^ 
the soul is immortal and eternal, and therefore, one thing 
being certain, death, let us take up a great ideal, and ^e 
up the whole life to it. Let this be our determinationy 
and may He, the Lord, '' Who comes again and again for 
the salvation of his own people," speaking tlirough our 
scriptures, may the great Krishna, bless us and lead us all 
to the fulfilment of our aims ! 


During his stay in Madras the Swami presided at the 
annual meeting ot the Cbennapuri Annadana Samajam, an 
institution of a charitable nature, and in the course of a 
brief address referred to a remark by a previous speaker 
deprecating special alms-giving to the Brahmin over and w>fr/i'«r 
above the other castes. He pointed out that, this had '^^^^r 
its good as well as its bad side. All the culture prac- 
tically, which the nation possessed was among the 
Brahmins, and tliey also had been the thinkers of the 
nation. Take away the means of living which enabled ^, . . 
them to be thinkers and the nation as a whole would £asi&Wi 
suffer. Speaking of the indiscriminate charity of India as '^'"^'^ ' 
compared with the legal charity of other nations, he said, 
the outcome of their system of relief was that the vaga- 
bond in India was contented to receive readily what he 
was given readily and lived a peaceful and contented 
life : while the vagabond in the West, iKiwilling to go 
to the poor-houses,— for man loved liberty more than 


Ibod — turned a robber^ the enem}^ of society and necessi- 
tated the organisation of a system of magistracy^ police^ 
jails, and botheration of that sort. Poverty there must 
be^ so long as the disease known as civilisation existed : 
and hence the need for relief. So that they had ta choose 
between the indiscriminate charity of India^ which, in 
the case of Saany asins at aay rate, even if they were not 
sincere n^n, at least forced them ta learn some little of 
their scriptures before they were aWe to- obtain food ;. 
and the discriminate charity of Western nations which 
necessitated a costly system of poor law relief^ and in 
the end succeeded only in changing mendicants int» 


Tlie Swami's long journey ended with Calcutta. In» 
accordance with the arrangements of the Reception Com- 
mittee, over which Maharaja Bahadur of Durbhanga 
presided,, he took a special train from Kidderpur and 
reached the Sealdah Station (Calcutta) early in the mor- 
ning. Here an immense crowd awaited him, and he 
was greeted with intense enthusiasm, which was main- 
tained during the whole of his progress through the 
decorated streets of the City to Ripon College, where a 
short stay was made. Breakfast was afterwards taken at 
Pasupati Bose's residence. The official reception was a 
a week later, in the courtyard of the residence of the 
late Raja Sri Radhakant Deb Bahadur, at Sobha Bazar, 
ivhen Raja Binoya Krishna Bahadur took the chair.. 
rhere must have been five thousand people present. 
\fter brief introductory remarks from the Chairman, he 
•ead the following address,, which was presented enclosed 
n a silver casket : — 

To Srimat Vivekananda Swaml i-tm^I^ 

Dear Brother, — -^'"f^'"^ 

We, the Hindu inhabitants^ of Calcutta and of several other 
Dlaces in- Bengal, offer yoa on your return to th« land of your 
Dirth a hearty welcome. We do sa with a sense of pride as well 
IS of gratitude^ for by yow noble work and exanvple in varioufih 
parts of the world you have done honour not only to our religion^ 
but also to our country and to- our province in particular. 

At the great Parlraraent of Religions- which constituted a 
Section of the World's Fair held in Chicago in 1893 you»- 
presentcd the principles of the Aryan religion. The substaactr 




of exposition wns to most of your audience a revelation and its 
manner overpowering alike by its grace and its strength. Some 
may have received it in a questioning spirit, a few may have 
criticised it, but its general effect was a revolution in the 
religious ideas of a large section of cultivated Americans. A npw 
light had dawned on their mind and with their accustomed 
earnestness and love of truth they determined to take full 
advantage of it. Your opportunities widened ; your work grew. 
Tou had to meet call after call ; from many cities in many state?, 
answer many queries, satisfy many doubts, solve many difficulties. 
Tou did all this work with energy, ability and sincerity ; and it 
had led to lasting results. Your teaching has deeply influenced 
many an enlightened circle in the American Commonwealth, has 
stimulated thoughts and research ; and has in many instances 
definitely altered religious conceptions in the direction of an 
increased appreciation of Hindu ideals. The rapid growth of 
clubs and societies for the co-operative study of religions and the 
investigation of spiritual truth is witness to your labour in the 
far West. You may be regarded as the founder of a College in 
London for the teaching of the Vedanta philosophy. Your 
lectures have been regularly delivered, punctually attended and 
widely appreciated. Their influence has extended beyond the 
walls of the lecture-rooms. The love and esteem which have 
been evoked by your teaching are evidenced by the warm 
acknowledgments in the address presented to you on the eve of 
your departure from London by the students of the Vedanta 
philosophy in that town. 

Your success as a teacher has been due not only to your 
deep and intimate aquaintance with the truths of the Aryan 
religion and your skill in exposition by speech and writing, 
but also and largely to your personality. Your lectures, your 
essays and your books have high merits, spiritual and literary, 
and they could not but produce their effect. But it has been 
heightened in a manner that delies expression,*by the example of 
your simple, sincere, self-denying life, your modesty, devotion 
and earnestness. 


While acknowledging your services as a teacher of the 
sublime truths of our religion we feel that we must render a 
tribute to the memory of your revered preceptor Sri Eamakrishna 
Paramahamsa. To him we largely owe even you. With his rare 
and magical insight he early discovered the heavenly spark in you 
and predicted for you a career which happily is now in course of 
realisation. He it was that unsealed the vision and the faculty 
divine with which (3-od had blessed you, gave to your thoughts 
and aspirations the bent that was awaiting the holy touch and 
aided your pursuits in the region of the unseen. His most pre- 
cious legacy to posterity was yourself. 

Gro on noble soul working steadily and valiantly in the path 

you have chosen. You have a world to conquer. You have to 

interpret and vindicate the religion of the Hindus to the 

ignorant, the sceptical, the wilfully blind. You have begun the 

work in a spirit which commands our admiration and have 

already achieved a success to which many lands bear witness. 

But a great deal yet remains to be done and our own country, or 

rather we should say your own country, waits on you. The 

truths of the Hindu religion have to be expounded to large 

numbers of Hindus themselves. Brace yourself then for the 

grand exertion.* We have confidence in you and in the 

righteousness of our cause. Our national religion seeks to win 

no material triumphs. Its purposes are spiritual ; its weapon is 

a truth which is hidden away from material eyes and yields only 

to the reflective reason. Call on the world, and where necessary, 

Hindus themselves, to open the inner eye, to transcend the 

senses, read rightly the sacred books to face the supreme reality, 

and realise their position and destiny as men. No one is better 

fitted than yourself to give the awakening or make the call, and 

we can only assure you of our hearty sympathy and loya 

co-operation in that work which is apparently your mission 

ordained by Heaven. 

We remain. Dear brother. 
Your loving friends & admirers. 


SwetmPs bve 
for Indta^ 
Jus country. 

of Religions, 

The swami's reply created a profound impression, and 
was as follows : — 

One wants, to lose the universal in the individual, 
one renounces, flies off, and tries to cut himself oflf from 
all associations of the body., of the past, one works hard 
to forget even that he is a man ; yet, in the heart of his 
heart, there is a soft sound, one string vibrating, one 
whisper, which tells him. East or West, home is best. 
Citizens of the capital of this Empire, before you I stand, 
not as a Sanny^sin^ no, not even as a preacher, but I come 
before you the same Calcutta boy to talk to 5''ou as I used 
to do. Aye, I would like to sit upon the dust of the 
streets of this city, and, with the freedotn of childhood, 
talk to you my mind, my brothers. Accept, therefore, 
my heart-felt thanks for this unique Word that you have 
used, " Brother.'* Yes ; I am your brother, and you are 
my brothers. I was asked by an English friend on the 
eve of my departure, " Swami, how do you like now your 
motherland after four years experience of the luxurious, 
glorious, powerful West ? " I could only answer " India 
1 loved before I came away. Now the* very dust of 
India has become holy to me, the ver)'' air is now to me 
holy, it is now the holy land, the place of pilgrimage, the 
TirthaJ* Citizens of Calcutta — my brothers — I cannot 
expres5 my gratitude to you for the kindness you have 
shown, or rather I should not thank you at all, for you 
are my brothers, you have done only a brother's duty, 
aye, only a Hindu brother's duty, for such family ties, 
such relationships, such love, exist nowhere beyond the 
bounds of this motherland of ours. The Parliament of 
Religions was a great affair, no doubt. We have thanked 
the gentlemen who organised the meeting, from various 
cities of this land, and they deserved all our thanks for the 
kindness, that has been shown to us, but yet allow me to 


construe for you the history of the Parliament of Religions. 
They wanted a horse, and they wanted to ride it. There 
were people there who wanted to make it a heathen show, 
but it became otherwise, it could not help being so. Most 
of them were kind, but we have thanked them enough. 

On the other hand, my mission in America was not 
for the Parliament of Religions. That was only some- 
thing in the way, it was only an opening, an opportunity Americans. 
and, of course, for that we are very thankful to the mem- 
bers of the Parliament, but really our thanks are due to 
the great people of the United States, the American 
nation, the warm-hearted, hospitable, great nation of 
America, where more than anywhere else the feehng of 
brotherhood has been developed. An American meets 
you for five minutes on board a train, and you are his 
friend, and the next moment he invites you as a guest to 
his home, and opens the secret of his whole living there. 
That is the American race, and we cannot be thankful 
enough to them. Their kindness to me is past all narra- 
tion, it would take me years yet to tell you how I have 
been treated by them, most kindly and most wonderfully. 
So are our thanks due to the other nation on the other 
side of the Atlantic. No one ever landed on English soil 
with more hatred in his heart for a race than I did for the 
English, and, on this platform, are present EngUsh friends 
who can bear witness to the fact, but the more I lived 
among them, saw how the machine is working, the 
English national life, mixed with them, found where the 
heart-beat of the nation was, the more I loved them. 
There is none among you here present, my brothers, who 
loves the English people more than I do. You have to see 
what is going on there, and you have to mix with them. 
As the philosophy, our national philosophy of the 
Vedanta, has summarised all misfortune, all misery from 

The English. 


that one cause, ignorance, herein also we must understand 
that the difficulties that arise between us and the English 
people are mostly due to that ignorance ; we do not know 
^^[rty ani them, they do not know us. Unfortunately, to the 
nngotogeth' 'Western mind, spirituality, nay, even morality, is eternally 
connected with worldly prosperity, and as soon as an 
Englishman or any other Western man, lands on our 
soil, and finds a land of poverty and of misery he forth- 
with concludes, that there cannot be any religion here, 
there cannot be any morality even. His own experience 
is true. In Europe, in the cold climate of Europe, and 
through many other circumstances, poverty and sin go 
together, but not in India. In India, on the other hand, 
my experience is, the poorer the man the better off he is 
Tn ike East in morality. Now this takes time to understand, and how 
^7hefMn. i^^any foreign people are there who will stop to under- 
stand this verv secret of national existence in India ? 
Few are there who will have the patience to study the 
nation and understand. Here and here alone is the only 
race where poverty does not mean crime, poverty does not 
mean sin, and here is the only race where not only 
poverty does not mean crime, but poverty has been 
deified, and the beggar's garb is the garb of the highest in 
the land. On the other hand, we have also similarly, 
patiently to study their social institutions, and not rush 
Similarly all into mad judgments about them. Their intermingling of 
utiLtions ^^ sexes, their different customs, their manners, have all their 
^darksides^ meaning, have all their grand sides, if you have the 
patience to study them. Not that I mean that we are 
going to borrow their manners and customs, not that they 
are going to borrow ours, for the manners and customs of 
each race are the outgrowth of centuries of patient growth 
in that race and each one has a deep meaning behind it, 
and therefore neither are they to ridicule our mannetrs and 


cugtoms, nor we theirs. 

Again, I want to make another statement before this 
assembly. My work in Endand has been more satis- w^ri wr 

Amertca c. 

factory to me than my work in America. That bold, brave in Engiam 
and steady Enghshman, if I may use the expression, with ^^'"^^^^ 
his skull a httle thicker than those of other people — if you 
once put an idea into that brain, screw it through that skull 
it is there, it nerer comes out, and that immense practicality 
and energy of the race makes it sprout up and immediately 
bear fruit. Not so in any other country. That immense 
practicality, that immense vitality of the race you do not 
see anywhere else. There is less of imagination, but more 
of work, and who knows the well-spring, the mainspring 
of the English heart ? How much of imagination and of 
feiling is there ? They are a nation of heroes, they are 
the true Kshatriyas, their education is to hide their feelings 
and never to show them. From their childhood they have 
been educated up to that. Seldom will you find an Eng- 
lishman manifesting feeling, nay, even an English woman. 
I have seen English women go to work and do deeds 
which would stagger the bravest of Bengalees to follow. 
But with all this heroic superstructure, behind this covering 
of the fighter, there is a deep spring of feeling in the Eng- 
lish heart. If you once know how to reach it, if you are 
there, and if you have personal contact, mix with him, 
open his heart, he is your friend for ever, he is your servant. 
Therefore in my opinion, my w^ork in England has been 
more satisfactory than anywhere else. I firmly believe 
that if I should die to-morrow the work in England would 
not die, but would go on expanding all that time. 

Gentlemen, you have touched another chord in my 
heart, the deepest of all, that is the mention of my teacher „ ,, 

My Master, 

my master, my hero, my ideal, my God in life — Sri Rama- 
krighna Paramahamsa. If there has been anything 


achieved by nie, by thoughts, or words, or decds> if from 
my hps ever has fallen one word that has helped any one 
in the world, I lay no claim to it, it was his. But if there 
have been curses falling from my lips,, if there has been 
been hatred coming out of me, it is all mine, and not his* 
All that has been weak has been mine,, and ail that has 
been life-giving, strengthening, pure, and holy, has been his 
inspiration, his words, and he himself. Yes, my friends, 
yet the world has to know that man. We read in the history 
of the world of prophets and their lives coming down to 
us through centuries of wntrng* and workings- by their 
disciples ; through thousands of years of smoothening and 
plastering the lives of great prophets of yore come down to 
us ; and yet, in my opinion, not one stands as high in brilli- 
ance as that life which I saw with my own eyes,, under 
whose shadow I have lived, at whose feet I have learnt 
everything, the life of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Aye, 
friends, you all know the celebrated saying of the GJta :— 
Vadd yadd hi dharmasya glanirbhxvuti Bhdrata,, 
A bhyuttdnatnadharmasya taddtmdnam, srijdmyaham. 
Paritrdndya sddhunam vindsdya cha duskkrildm^ Dhatma 
samsthdpandrthdya sambhavdmi yugeyuge. 

Along with it you have to understand one thing more. 
w^^«/«- Such a thing is before us to-day. Before one of these 
tl^. ^^ ^^^^^ waves of spirituality comes, there are little whirlpools 
of a similar nature all over society. One of these stands 
up, at first unknown, unperceived, and unthought of,, 
assuming proportion,swallowing, as it were, and assimilating 
all the other little whirlpools^ becoming immense, becom- 
ing a tidal wave, and falling upon society with a power 
which none can resist. Such is happening. If you have 
eyes you can read it. If your heart is open you will re- 
ceive it. If you are truth-seekers you will find it. Blind,, 
blind indeed is the man who does not see the signs of the 

ts such a 

day. Aye, this boy born of poor Brahmin parents in some 
wayside village somewhere, of which very few of you 
have even heard, is literally being worshipped in lands 
which have been fulminating against heathen worship for 
centuries. Whose power is it ? Is it mine, or yours ? It 
is none else than the power which was manifested here as 
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. For, you and I, and sages 
and prophets, nay, even incaranations, the whole universe, 
are but manifestations of power more or less individualis- 
ed, more or less concentrated. Here has been a manifes- 
tation of an immense power, just the very beginnings of 
whose workings we are seeing, and before this generation 
passes away, you will see more wonderful workings of that 
power. It has come just in time for the regeneration of 
India, for we forget from time to time the vital power 
that must always work in India. 

Each nation has its own peculiar method of work. //^ canu 
Some work through pohtics, some through social reforms, ^^U^^f^^^\ 
some through other lines. With us religion is the only ed to go out. 
ground through which we can move. The Englishman 
cm understand religion even through politics. Perhaps, 
the American can understsnd religion even through social 
reforms. But the Hindu can understand even politics when 
it is given through religion, sociology must come through 
religion, everything must come through religion. For that 
is the theme, the rest are the variations in the national life- 
music. And that was in danger* It seemed to be that we 
were going to change this theme in our national life, as it 
were that we were going to exchange the bacltbone of our 
existence, as it were that we were trying to replace 
a spiritual by a political back-bone. And if we could have 
succeeded, the result would have been annihilation. But 
it was not to be. So this power became manifest. I do 
tiot care in what light you understand this great sage, it 



matters not how much respect you pay to him, but I 
challenge you face to face with the fact that here is a mani- 
festation of the most marvellous power that has been for 
several centuries in India, and it is your duty, as Hindus, to 
study this power, to find what has been done for the re- 
generation, for the good of India, and for the good of the 
whole human race. Aye, long before ideas of univer.-al 
religion and brotherly feeling between different sects had 
been mooted and discussed in any country in the world, 
here, in sight of this city, was living a man whose whole 
life was a Parliament of Reli^^ions as it should be. 

Gentlemen, the highest ideal in our book is the Imper- 
sonal, and would to God everyone of us here were high 
great sptri- euough to realise that Impersonal ideal, but, as that cannot 
tuaihero. j^^^ it is absolutely necessary for the vast majority of us 
human beings to have a Personal ideal, and no nation, can 
rise, can become great, can work at all, without enthusiasti- 
cally coming round one of these great ideals in life. Pohtical 
ideals, personages representing political ideals, even social 
ideals, commercial ideals, would have no power in India. 
We want spiritual ideals before us, we want enthusiasti- 
cally to gather round grand spiritual names. Our heroes 
must be spiritual. Such a hero has been given unto us in 
the person of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. If this nation 
wants to rise, take my word, it will have to come enthusi- 
astically round this name. It does not matter who preaches 
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, whether I, or you, or any- 
body. But him I place before you, and it is tor you to 
judge, and for the good of our race, for the good of our 
nation, to judge now, what you shall do with this great 
ideal of life. One thing we are to remember, that it was 
the purest of all lives that you have ever seen, or let rae 
tell you distinctly, that you have read of. And it is a fact 
befoie you that it is the most marvellous manifestation of 

sdul-power that \^ou can read of, much less expect to see. 
Within ten years o[ his passing away this power has en- 
circled the globe ; that is before you. Gentlemen, in duty 
bound therefore for the good of our race, for the goodx)f 
our religion, I place this great spiritual ideal before you. 
Judge him not through me. I am only a weak instrument. 
Let not his character be judged by seeing me. It was so 
great that I, or anyone of his disciples, if we spent hundreds 
of lives, could not do justice to a millionth part of what he 
really was. Judge for yourselves ; in the heart of your 
hearts is the Eternal Witness, and may He, the same 
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, for the good of our nation, 
for the welfare of our country, and for the good of huma- 
nity, open your hearts, make 5''ou true and steady to w^ork 
for the immense change which must come, whether we 
^'ork or not. For the work of the Lord does not wait for 
the likes of you or me. He can raise his workers from the 
dust by hundreds and thousands. It is a glor}'^ and a 
privilege that we aie allowed to work at all under Him. 

From this the idea expands. As you have pointed 
out to me we have to conquer the world. That we have ! "^e must go 
India must conquer the world, and nothing less than that /a? wor^X 
is my ideal. It may be very big, it may astonish many of ^^P^*^^ 
you, but it is so. We must conquer the world or die. 
There is no. other alternative. The sign of life is expansion ; 
we must go out, expand, show hfe, or degrade, fester and 
die. There is no other alternative. Take either of these 
eiflier live or die. Now, we all know about the pett)'' jea- 
lousies and quarrels that we have in our country. Take 
my word, it is the same ever)'^where. The other nations 
with their political hves, have foreign policies. When they 
find too much quarreUing at home, they look for somebody 
abroad to quarrel with, and the quarrel at home stops. We 
have these quarrels, without any foreign policy, to stop 


Our foreign 
policy must 
be to preach 
the Vedanta. 

ness the cause 
of our dowH- 

India begins 
with Ram' 
mohan Roy, 

WV must 
learn mecha- 
tion and 
teach religi- 

Which the 
world re- 
quires from 

them. This must be our eternal foreign policj^ preaching 
the truths of our Sdstras to the nations of the world. Do 
you require any other proof that this will unite us as a race, 
I ask you who are politically minded ? This very assembly 
is a sufficient witness. Secondly, apart from these selfish 
consider atiomt, there are the unselfish, the noble, the livin j 
examples behind us. One of the great causes of India's 
misery and downfall has been that she narrowed herself, 
went into her shell, as the oyster does, and refused to give 
her jewels and her treasures to other races of mankind, 
refuse to give the life-giving truths to thirsting nations 
outside the Aryan fold. That has been the ' one 
great cause, that we did not go out, that we did not 
compare notes with other nations, has been the one 
great cause of our downfall, and every one of you 
know that that little stir, the little life that you see in 
India begins from the day when Raja Rammohan 
Roy broke through the walls of that exclusivencss. Since 
that day the history in India has taken another turn, and 
now it is, growing with accelerated motion. If we have 
had little rivulets in the past, deluges are coming, and 
none can res?ist them. Therefore we must go out, and 
the secret of life is give and take. Are we to take always, to 
Mt at the feet of the Westerns to learn everything, even 
religion ? We can learn machines from them. We can 
learn many other things. But we have to teach them some- 
thing and that is our religion, that is our spirituality. For 
a complete civilisation the world is waiting, waiting fortBe 
treasures to come out of India, waiting for the marvellons 
spiritual inheritance of the race, which, through decades of 
degradation and misery, the nation has still dutcbed 
unto her breast. The world is waiting for that treasure ; 
little do you know how much of hunger and of thirst tliere 
is outside of India .for these wonderful treasures of your 


forefathers. We talk here, we quarrel with each other, 
we laugh at and we ridicule everything sacred, till it has 
become almost a national vice to ridicule everything holy. 
Little do we understand the heart pangs of millions wailing 
outside the walls, stretching forth their hands for a little 
bit of that nectar which our forefathers have preserved in 
this land of India. Therefore we must go out, exchange 
oiur spirituahty for anything they have to give ua ; for the 
marvels of the region of spirit we will exchange the marvels 
of the region of matter. We will not be students always, 
but teachers also. There cannot be friendship without 
equality, and there cannot be equality when one party is 
always the teacher and the other party sits always at the 
feet. If you want to become equal with the Englishman 
or the American, you will have to teach as well aa to learn, 
and you have plenty yet to teach to the world for centuries with the 
to come« This has to be done. Fire and enthusiasm must mmt^boi 
be in our blood. We Bengalees have been credited with ima- 
gination, and I believe it. We have been ridiculed as an ima- 
ginative race, as men with a good deal of feeling. I^et me tell 
you, my friends, intellect is great indeed but it stops fj^^f^^J 
within a certaiu bound. It is through the heart, and the e/feeUng i 

^ well fitted 

heart alone, that inspiration comes. It is through the feel- /^r this. 
inga that the highest secrets are reached, and therefore, 
it is the Bengalee that has to do this work, the man of 
feeling, • 

UUishthata jdgrata prdpya varan nibodhata, &c. 
** Awake, arise and stop not till the desired end is reached." 
Young men of Calcutta, arise, awake, for the time is pro- ^Mrim 
pitious. Already everything is opening out before us. Be 
bold and fear not. It is only in our scriptures that this 
adjective is given unto the Lord — Abhih, Abhih. We haye 
to become Abhih, fearless, and our task will be done. Ar- 
ise, awake, for your country needs this tremendous sJtcrificc. 


It is the young men that will do it. Yuvddsishtho dravish- 
tho balishthe medhdvi, &c. "The young, the energetic, the 
Tsil^ong <^trong, the well-built, the intellectual," for them is the task. 
And we have hundreds and thousands of such young men 
in Calcutta. If, as you say, I have done something, rem- 
ember that I was that good-for-nothing boy playing in the 
streets of Calcutta. If I have done so much how much 
more will you do ? Arise and awake, the world is calling 
upon you. In other parts of India, there is intellect, there is 
money, but enthusiasm is only in my motherland. That must 
come out, and, therefore, arise young men of Calcutta, with 
enthusiasm in your blood. Think not that you are poor, 
that you have no friends. A5^e, whoever saw money make 
the man ; it is man that always makes money. The whole 
world has been made by the energy of man, by the power 
U^ich ^^ enthusiasm, by the power of faith. Those of you wiio 
ichikiia have studied that most beautiful of all Upanishads, the 
Katha, remember how the king was going to make a great 
sacrifice, and, instead of giving away things that were worth 
anything was giving away cows and horses that w^ere not 
of any use, and the book says that at that time S'raddhd 
entered into the heart of his son Nachiketa. I would not 
translate this word S*raddhd to 3^ou, it would be a mistake; 
it is a \vonderful word to understand, and much depends 
on it ; we will see how it works, for immediately we find 
Nachiketa telling unto himself, " I am superior to many, 
1 am inferior to few, I can also do something." And this 
boldness increased, and the boy wanted to solve the 
problem which was in his mind, the problem of death. 
The solution could only be got by going to the house of 
Death, and the boy went. There he was, brave Nachi- 
keta, waiting at the house of Death for three days, and 
you known how he got everything else. What we w^ant 
is this S^radJhd. Unfortunately, it has nearly vanished 

from India, and this is why we are in our present state. 
What makes the difference between man and man is the 
difference in this iraddha, and nothing else. What makes 
one man great and another w^eak and low is this sraddhd. 
My master used to say, he who thinks himself weak shall 
become weak, and that is true. This sraddhd must enter 
into you. Whatever of material power you see manifested 
by the Western races is the outcome of this Sraddhd, /„ the inj 
because they beheve in their muscles and if you believe in ^^'^J^^ 
your spirit, how much more will it work. Believe in that 
Infinite Soul, the Infinite Power, w^hich, w'ith consensus 
of opinion, your books and sages preach. That Atman 
whom nothing can destory, in him is Infinite Power only 
waiting to be called out. For here is the great difference 
between all other philosophies and Indian Philosophy. 
Whether Dualistic, qualified Monistic, or Monistic^ they 
all firmly believe that everything is in the soul itself ; it has 
only to come out and manifest it-^elf. Therefore, thrs 
sraddhd is what I want, and what all of us here want, this 
faith in ourselves, and before you is the great task to get 
that faith. Give up the awful disease that is creeping into 
our national blood, that idea of ridiculins; evervthins:, that 
loss of seriousness. Give that up. Be strong and have this thenfdi» 
sraddhd, and everything else is bound to follow. 1 have 
done as yet nothing ; yon have to do the task. If I die 
to-morrow the work will not die. I sincerely believie that 
there will be thousands coming up from the ranks to take 
up the work and carry it further and further, beyond all 
my most hopeful imagination ever painted. I have faith 
in my countr)^ and especially in the youth of my country. 
The youth of Bengal have the greatest of all tasks that has 
ever been placed on the shoulders of young men. I have 
travelled for the last ten years or so the whole of India, and 
my conviction is that from the youth of Bengal will come 


the power which will raise India once more to her proper 
spiritual place. Aye, from the youth of Bengal, with this 
immense amount ot feeling and enthusiasm in their blood, 
will come those heroes, who will march from one to the 
other corner of this earth, travel from pole to pole, preach- 
ing and teaching the eternal spiritual truths of our fore- 
fathers. And this is the great work before you. Therefore, 
let me conclude, once more reminding you " Arise, awake, 
and stop not till the desired end is reached." Be not afraid, 
for all great power, throughout the history of humanity, 
has been with the people. From out of their ranks have 
come all the greatest geniuses of the world, and history can 
only repeat itself. Be not afraid of anything. You will do 
marvellous work. The moment you fear you are nobody. 
It is fear that is the great cause of misery in the world. 
It is fear that is the greatest of all superstition. It is fear 
that is the cause of our woes, and it is fearlessness that 
brings even heaven in a moment. Therefore "Arise, 
awake, and stop not till the desired goal i's reached." 

Gentlemen, allow me to thank you once more for ail 
the kindness that I have received at your hands. I can 
only tell you that it is my w^ish — my intense, sincere wish 
— to be even of the least service to the world, and above 
all to my own country and my countrymen. 

One other lecture was given by the Swami while 

in Calcutta, on " The Vedanta in all its Phases." A report 
follows: — 


Away back where no recorded history, nay, even the 
As Vidania dim light of tradition, can penetrate, has been steadily 
u^ea^ed shining the light, sometimes dimmed by external circjim- 
stances, at others effulgent, but undying and steady, shed- 
ding its light not only over India, but permeating the whole 


:hought-world with its power, silent, imperceived, gentle, 
yet omnipotent, like the dew that falls in the morning, 
unseen and unnoticed, yet bringing into bloom the fairest of 
roses — this has been the thought of the Upanishads, the 
philosophy of the Vedanta. Nobody knows when it first 
:iame to flourish on the soil of India* Guess-works have 
been vain. The guesses, especially of Western writers, 
have been so conflicting that no certain date can be ascrib- 
ed to them. But we Hindus, from the spiritual standpoint, 
io not admit that they had any origin. This Vedanta, 
:he philosophy of the Upanishads, I would make bold to 
jtate, has been the first, as well as the final thought that 
)n the spiritual plane has ever been vouchsafed to man. 
?rom this light have been going Westward and Eastward, and is the 
"rom time to time, waves from the ocean of the Vedanta. ^<»j« ^/«/^ 

t 1 /. . »4 -I f TT 11 . systems of 

n the days of yore it travelled Westward and gave its philosophy. 
mpetus to the mind of the Greeks, either in Athens, or in 
Uexandria, or in Antioch. The Sankhya System clearly must 
lave made its mark on the minds of the ancient Greeks, 
ind the Sankhya, and all other systems in India, had that 
>ne authority, the Upanishads, the Vedanta. In India, too, 
n spite of all these jarring sects that we see to-day and 
ill that have been in the past, the one authority, the basis 
ii all these systems, has yet been the Upanishads, the 
Vedanta. Whether you are a Dualist, or a Qualified 
Monist, an Advaitist, or a Visishtadvaitist, a Visuddhad- 
iraitirit, or any other Advaitist or Dvaitist, or whatever you 
nay call yourself, there stands behind you as your autho- 
rity, your SdstraSy your scripture, the Upanishads. What- 
ever system in India does not obey the Upanishads cannot 
3e called orthodox, and even the systems of the Jainists 
md the Buddhists have been rejected from the soil of 
[ndia only because they did not bear allegiance to the 
Upj^nishads. Thus the Vedanta, whether we know it or 


Hinduism not, has penetrated all the sects in India, and what we 

based on 

Vedanta Call Hinduism, this mighty Banyan with its immense, 
almost infinite ramifications, has been throughout in- 
terpenetrated by the influence of the Vedanta. Whether 
we are conscious of it or not, we think the Vedanta, we 
live in the Vedanta, we breathe the Vedanta, and we die 
in the Vedanta, and every Hindu does that. To preach 
Vedanta in the land of India, and before an Indian 
audience, seems, therefore, to be an anomaly. But it is 

Contradic' the One thing that has got to be preached, and it is the 

Hon j« Bin- • r i i • » i •• i-» 

du sects only necessity of the age that it must be preached. For, as I 
appare:%L j^^^^ j^g^ ^^jj y^^^ ^jj ^^ Indian sects must bear all- 
egiance to the Upanishads, but among these sects there 
are many apparent contradictions. Many times the great 
sages of yore could not understand the underl}ing harmony 
of the Upanishads themselves. Many times, even sages 
quarrelled, and so much so that at times it became a pro- 
verb, that they are not sages who do not differ. JS^osau 
7mmiryasya inatam nabhinna7n. But the time requires 
that a better interpretation should be given to this underly- 
ing harmony of the Upanishadic texts ; whether they are 
dualistic, non-dualistic, quasi -duahstic, or so forth, it has 
to be shown before the world at large ; and this work is 
required as much in India as outside of India, and I, 
Their har- througli the gracc of God, had the great good fortune to sit 
Zed'by^my^' ^it the feet of One whose whole life was such an interpre- 
Aiaster, tatiou, whosc life, a thousand-fold more than whose teach- 
ing, was a living commentary on the texts of the Upani- 
shads, was in fact, the spirit of the Upanishads living in a 
human form. Perhaps I have got a little bit of that har- 
mony ; I do not know whether I shall be able to express 
it or not, but this is my attempt, my mission in life, to 
show that Vedantic Schools are not contradictory, that 
they all necessitate each other, all fulfil each other, and 

ne, as it were, is the stepping-stone to the other, until the 

oal, the Advaita, the Taitwam asi, is reached. There 

as a time in India when the Karma-kdnda had its sway, ^andagwen 

here have been many grand ideals, no doubt, in that P^^^ ^^J^' 

Drtion of the Vedas. Some of our present daily worship Puranas. 

still according to the precepts of the Karma-kdnda. 

at, with all that, the Karma-kdnda of the Vedas has 

most disappeared from India. Very little of our life at 

le present day is bound and regulated by the orders of 

te Karma-l'dnda of the Vedas. In our ordinary lives we 

e mostly Pauranics or Tantrics, and, even where some 

edic texts are used by the Brahmins of India, the 

Ijustment of the texts is not according to the Vedas most- 

, but according to the Tantras or the Puranas. As such 

I call ourselves Vaidics in the sense of following the 

'arma-Kdnda of the Vedas, I do not think, would be ^ „ , 

' ^ But Vedatt^ 

oper. But the other fact stands, that we are all of us tms ail 
edai^tists. The people who call themselves Hindus had ' ^ ^^^* 
ttter be called Vedantists, and, as I have shown you, 
ider that one name Vaidantika, come in all our various 
cts, either dualists or no-dualists. 

The sects that are at the persent time in India come ^^^ ^^j^f 

* sects of 

general, to be divided into the two great classes of Hindus 
lalists and monists. The little differences which some duaUsu 
these sects insist upon, and upon the authority of which 
flint to take new names, as pure Advaitists, or qualified 
ivaitists, and so forth, do not matter much. As a 
issification, either they are dualists or monists, and of 
e sects existing at the present time, some of them are 
ry new, and others seem to be reproductions of very Represented 
[cient sects. The one class I would represent by the life ^-L-f *''"''" 
id philosophy of Ramanuja, and the other by Sankara- 
.arya — Ramanuja, the leading dualistic philosopher of 
Ler India, whom all the other dualistic sects have 


followed, directly or indirectly, both in substance of their 
teaching, and in the organisations of their sects, even down 
to some of the most minute points of their organisatimi. 
You will be astonished, if you compare Ramanuja and his 
works with the other dualistic, Vaishnavist sects in India, 
how much they resemble each other in organisation, teach- 
ing, and method. There have been the great Southern 
preacher Madhva Muni and following him our great 
Chaitanya of Bengal, (taking up the philosophy of the 
Madhvas, and preaching it in Bengal.) There have been 
some other sects in Southern India also, as the qualified 
duaJistic Saivites. The Saivites in most parts of India are 
Advaitists, except in some portions of Southern India, and 
in Ceylon. But they also only substitute Siva for Vishnu, 
and are Ramanujists in every sense of the term except in 
the doctrine of the soul. The followers of Ramanuja hold 
that it is A7iUf like a particle, very small, and the follow- 
ers of of Sankaracharya hold that it is Vibhu, ormiipresent. 
There have been several non-dualistic sects. It seems 
that there have been sects in ancient times which 
fr Sankara Saukara's movement has entirely swollowed up and assimi- 
lated. You find sometimes a fling at Sankara himself in 
some of the commentaries, especially in that of Vignana 
Bhikshu who, although an Advaitist, attempts to upset the 
Mdydvdda of Sankara. It seems there were schools who 
did not believe in this Mdycfvdda, and they went so far as 
to call Sankara a crypto-Buddhist, Prachchanna Bauddha, 
and they thought this Mdydvdda was taken from the Bud- 
dhists, and brought within the Vedantic fold. However 
that may be, in modern times the Advaitists have all ranged 
themselves under Sankaracharya ; and Sankarachkrya and 
his disciples have been the great preachers of Advaita, both 
in Southern and in Northern India. The influence of San- 
karacharya did not penetrate much into our country of 

Bengal, and in Cashmere and the Punjab, but in Southern 
India the Smartas are all followers of Sankarachkrya, and 
with Benares as the centre, his influence is Himply immense 
even in many parts of Northern India. 

Now both Sankara and Ramanuja laid aside all claim 
to originality. Ramanuja expressly tells us he is only fol- _ , ^^ 
lowing the great commentary of Bodhkyana. Bodhdyana claim orig 
kritam bhdshyam amisritya. That is what Ramanuja ^^^* 
says. He takes it up and makes of it a Sankshiptam^ and 
that is what we have to-day. I myself never had an 
opportunity of seeing this commentary of Bodhkyana. The 
late Swami Dayknanda Saraswati wanted to reject every 
other commentary of Vyasa SQtras except that of 
Bodhkyana, and although he never lost an opportunity of 
having a fling at Ramanuja, he himself could never produce 
the Bodhkyana. I have sought for it all over India, and 
never yet have been able to see it. But Rkmknuja is very 

plain on the point, and he tells us that he is taking the 


ideas, and sometimes the very passages, out of Bodhdyana, 
and condensing them into the present Rkmknuja Bhkshya. 
It seems that Sankarkchkrya was also doing the same. 
There are a few places in his Bhdshya which mention 
older commentaries, and when we know »that his Guru, 
and his Guru's Guru, had been Vedantists of the same 
schools as he, sometimes even more thorough-going, 
bolder even than Sankara himself on certain points, it 
seems pretty plain that he also was not preaching anything 
very original, and that even in his Bhkshya he himself had 
been doing the same work that Rdn^^nuja did with 
Bodhayana, but from what Bhkshya cannot be discovered Tkiir teat 
at the present time. All these Darsanas that you have upL\mrl 
ever seen or heard of are based upon Upanishadic authority. ^^^^ 

*^ *^ "^ Gurus anc 

Whenever they want to quote a Sruti, they mean the upanishac 
Upanishads* They are always quoting the Upanishads, 


Following the Upanishads there come other philosophies 
of India, but every one of them failed in getting that hold 
of India which the philosophy of Vyasa got, although the 
philosophy of Vyasa is a development out of an older one, 

^inkL^ the Sankhya, and every philosophy and every system in 
India — I mean throughout the world — owes much to 
Kapila, perhaps the greatest name in the history of India 
in psychological and phflosophical lines. The influence 
of Kapila is everywhere throughout the world. Wherever 
there is a recognised system of thought, there you can 
trace his influence ; it may be thousands of y^ars back, 
but yet he stands there, the shining, glorious, wonderful 
Kapila. His psychology and a good deal of his philosophy 
have been accepted by all the different sects of India, with 
but very little differences. In our own country, our 

^rtyjia Naiyayik philosophers could not make much impression on 
the philosophical world of India. They were too busy with 
little species and genus, and so forth, and that most 
cumbersome terminology, which is a life's work to study. 
As such, theytwere very busy with logic, and left philosophy 
to the Vedantists, but every one of the Indian philosophic 
sects in morden times has adopted the logical terminology 
of the Naiyayiks of Bengal. Jagadis, Gadadhar, and 
Siromani are as well-known at Nuddea as in some of the 
cities in Malabar. But the philosophy of Vyasa, the Vyasa 
SQtras, is firm-seated, and has attained the permanence 
of that which it intended to present to men, the orthodox 
and Vedantic side of philosophy. Reason was entirely 
subordinated to the Srutis, and as Sankarachkrya declares, 
Vy^sa did not care to reason at all. His idea in writing the 
Sutras was just to bring together, with one thread to make 
a garland of the flowers of Vedantic texts. His Sutras are 
admitted so far as they are subordinate to the authority 
of the Upanishads, and no further. 



And, as I have said, all the sects of India now hold 
these Vyasa Sutras to be the great authority, and every new 
sect in India starts with a fre:ih commentary on the Vyasa 
Sutras according to its light. The difference between some 
of these commentators is sometimes very great, sometimes 
the text-torturing is quite disgusting. The Vyasa Sutras 
have got the place of authority in India now, and, no 
one can expect to found a sect in India until he can write 
a fresh commentary on the Vyasa Sutras. 

Next in authority is the celebrated Gita. The great The GUa. 
glory of Sankaracharya was his preaching of the Glta. It 
is one of the greatest works that this great man did among 
the many noble works of his noble life — the preaching of 
the Glta, and writing the most beautiful commentary on it. 
And he has been followed by every founder of an orthodox 
sect in India, each of whom has written a commentary on 
the Glta. 

The Upanishads are many in number, said to 
be one hundred and eight, some declare them to be still ^^^^ ^* 
larger in number. Some of them are evidently of a much 
later date, one, for instance, called the AUopanishad, in 
which Allah is praised, and Mahomet is called the Raja- ^^gr^l 
sulla. I have been told that this was written during the sectarian 
. reign of Akbar, to bring the Hindus and Mahomedans to- 
gether, and sometimes they got hold of some word, as 
Allah, or Ilia, and so forth, in the Samhitas, made an Up- 
anishad on it. So in this AUopanishad Mahomet is the 
Rajasulla, whatever that may mean. There. are other sec- 
tarian Upanishads of the same species, which you find to 
be entirely modern, and it has been so easy, seeing that this 
language of the Samhita portion of the Vedas is so archaic 
that there is no grammar to it. Years ago I had an idea 
of studying the grammar of the Vedas, and I began with 
all earnestness to study Panini and the Mahabhashya, but 



nd Ancient 
nes comm-' 
nUd upon 
V Sankara 
ind others. 

The poetical 
nerit of the 


to my surprise I found that the best part of the Vedic 
grammar consists only of exceptions to the rule. A rule is 
made, and after that comes a statement in the Vedas, ** This 
rule will be an exception." So you see what an amount 
of liberty there is for anybody to write anything, the only 
safeguard being the dictionary of Yaska. Still, in this you 
will find, for the most part, but a large number of syno- 
nyms. Given all that, how easy it is to write any num- 
ber of Upanishads you please. Just have a little knowledge 
of Sanskrit, enough to make words look like the old archaic 
words, and you have no fear of grammar. Then j^'ou bring 
in Rajasulla, or any other Sullay on like. In that way many 
Upanishads have been manufactured, and, I am told, they 
are being manufactured even now. In some parts ot India, 
I am perfectly certain, they are trying to manufacture 
such Upanishads even now, among the dififerent sects. But 
among the Upanishads ar« those, which, on the face of 
them, bear -the evidence of genuineness, and these have 
been taken up by the great commentators and commented 
upon, especially those which have been taken up by 
Sankara, followed by Ramanuja, and all the rest. 

There are one or two more ideas with regard to the 
Upanishads which I want to bring to your notice, for these 
are an ocean of knowledge, and to talk about the Upa* 
nishads, even by an incompetent person like myself takes 
years, and not one lecture only. I want, therefore to bring 
to your notice one or two points in the study of the Upa- 
nishads. In the first place, they are the most marvellous 
poems in the world. If you read the Samhita portion of 
the Vedas, you now and then find passages of most marvel- 
lous beauty. For instance, the famous Sloka which des- 
cribes Chaos — Tama dslt tamasd gndham QgreScc^ " When 
darkness was hidden in darkness," so on it goes. One 
reads and feels the wonderful sublimity of the poetry. Do 


you mark this, that outiide of India, and inside also, there Suhhmity 
have been attempts at painting the subhme. But outside 
it has always been the infinite in the muscles, the external y^tiemMt 
world, the infinite of matter, or of space. When your r^^chthe 
Miltion or Dante, or any other great European poet, either through t 
ancient or modern, wants to paint a picture of the infinite, ^^w-iT 
he tries to soar outside, to make you feel the infinite through 
the muscles. That attempt has been made here also. You 
find it in the Samhita*, the infinite of extension, most mar- 
vellously painted and placed before the readers^ such as 
has been nowhere else. Mark that one sentence Tama 
dsH tamasa gndharrtj and now mark the d<escription of 
darkness by three poets. Take your own Kklidasa *' Dark- 
ness which can be penetrated with the point of a needle;" 
Milton — ^' no light but rather darkness visible," but come 
here — Darkness was covering darkness," "Darkness was hid- 
den in darkness." We who live in the tropics can under- 
stand it, the sudden outburst of the monsoon, when in a 
moment, the horizon becomes darkened, and clouds become 
covered with more and more rolling black clouds. So on 
the poem goes, but yet, in the Samhita portion, all these at- 
tempts are external. Like everywhere else, the attempts 
at finding the solution of great problems of life have been 
through the external world. Just as the Greek mind, or 
the modern European mind wants to find the solution of ^^ ^i^^m 
life and of all the sacred problems of Bemg by searchmg hath in 
into the external world, so our forefathers did, and just as f^reT'*'^ 
the Europeans failed they failed also. But the Westerns 
never made a move more, they remained there, they failed 
in the search for the solution of the great problems of life 
and death in the external world and there they remained, iaredheip^ 
stranded ; our forefathers also found it impossible, but jl^diliftf 
were bolder to declare the utter helplessness of the senses ^'^ ^oiupo^ 
to find the solution. Nowhere else was the answer better 



put than in the Upanishad Vaio vdcho riivartante aprdpya 
manasdsaha na tattra chakshnrgachchhati 7ia vdg^achch- 
hatiy " From whence the word comes back reflected by the 
mind" so on ; there are various sentences which declared 
the utter helplessness of the senses ; but they did not stop 
there, they feli-batik upon the internal nature of man, they 
went to get the answer from their own soul, they became 
introspective, they gave up external nature as a failure, as 
nothing could be done there, as no hope, no answer, could 
be found, they discovered that dull, dead matter would not 
give them truth, and they fell back upon the shming soul 
of man, and there the answer was found. 

Atjndnam vd vijdniydtj aiiydm vdcham vimunchatha 
" Know this Atman " they declared ; ^' give up all other 
vain words and hear no other." In the Atman thev found 
the solution — the greatest of all dtmans, the God, the Lord 
of this Universe, His relation to the dtjnan of man, ourdutv 
to Him, and through that our relation to each other. And 
hUme herein you find the most sublime poetry in this world. No 
Up of the more is the attempt made to paint this Atman in the 

nntttsjen * ' 

the theory language of matter. Nay, even for it they have given up 
'"^"^ all positive language. No more is there attempt to come 
to the senses to give them the idea of the infinite, no more 
is there an external, dulU dead, material, spacious, sensuous, 
infinite, but instead of that, comes something which is as 
fine as even that very saying, Na t.itra sOryo bhdti na 
chandratdrakam^ nemd vidyuto bhdnti hutoyamagiuhj and 
what poetry in the world can be more sublime than this ! 
" There the sun cannot illumine, nor the moon, not the 
stars, a flash of lightning cimnot illumine the place ; what 
to speak of this mortal fire ! " Such poetry you find no- 
where else. Take that most marvellous Upanishad, the 
Katha. What a wonderful finish, what a most marvel- 
lous art, displayed in that poem ! How wonderfully it opens, 



with that little child to wliom S^raddhd came, who wanted 
to see Yama, and how that most marvellous of all teachers, 
Death himself, teaches him the great lessons of life and 
death ! And what was his quest ? To know the secret of 

The second point that I want you to remember is the , ^ 

* -^ Impersof, 

perfectly impersonal character of the Upanishads. Although character 
we find many names, and many speakers, and many teachers sMads 
in the Upanishads, not one of them stands as an authority 
of the- Upanishads, not one verse is based upon the 
life of any one of them. These are simply figures like 
shadows moving in the background, unfelt, unseen, un- 
realised, but the real force is in the marvellous, the bril- 
liant, the effulgent texts of the Upanishads*, perfectly 
impersonal. If twenty Ykjgnavalkyas came, and lived, and 
died, it does not matter ; the texts are there. And yet it 
is against no personality ; it is broad and expansive enough 
to embrace all the personahties that the world has yet 
produced, and all that are yet to be produced* It has 
nothing to say against the worship of persons, or Avat&rs, 
or sages. Oa the other hand it is always upholding it. At 
the same time, it is perfectly impersonal. It is a most 
marvellous idea, like the God it preaches, the impersonal 
idea of the Upanishads. At the same time for the sage, the 
thinker, the philosopher, for the rationalist it is as much 
impersonal as any modern scientist can wish* And these 
are our scriptures. You must remember that what '^/^"'^^ 

^ our scrips 

the Bible is to the Christians, what the Quoran is tura. 
to the Mahommedans, what the Tripitaka is to the 
Buddhists, what the Zend Avesta is to the Parsis, so these 
Upanishads are to us. These and nothing but these, are 
our scripture?. The Puranas, the Tantras, and all the rke rest i 
other books, even the Vyasa Sutras, are of secondary, ^^^^ 
tertiary authority, but primly are the Vedas. Manu, 



and the Puranas, and all the other books are to be taken 
so far as they agree with the authority of the Upanishads, 
and when they disagree they are to be rejected without 
mercy. This we ought to remember always, but unfortu- 
nately for India at the present time we have forgotten it. 
A petty village custom seems now the real authority for 
the teaching of the Upanishads. A petty idea current in a 
wayside village in Bengal seems to have the authority of 
the Vedas, and even something better. And that word 
** orthodox." how wonderful its influence 1 To the villager, 
following every little bit of the Karma-kdnda is the very 
height of " orthodoxy" and one who does not do it — " go 
away, no more a Hindu." So there are, most unfortunate- 
ly, in my motherland persons who will take up one of these 
Tantras, and say that the practice ot this Tantra is to 
be obeyed ; he who does not do so is no more orthodox in 
his views. Therefore it is better for us to remember that 
in the Upanishads is the primary authority, even the 
Gfihya and Srauta Sutras are subordinate to the authority 
of the Vedas. They are the words of the Rishis, our fore- 
fathers, and you have to believe them if you want to be- 
come a Hindu. You may even beheve the most peculiar 
'5^' ideas about the God-head, but if you deny the authority 

tor an etc.^ "^ 

e to us A5 of the Vedas, vou are a Ndstika. Therein is the difference 


of the scriptures of the Christians or the Buddhists-, and so 

on ; they are all Puranas, and not scriptures, because they 

describe the history of the deluge, and the history of kings 

d truf! as and reigning families, and record the lives of great men, and 

' as thsy 

ret with SO ou. This is the work of the Purknas, and so far as they 
■ ^^ agree with the Vedas, very good. So far as the Bible and 
so on, agree with the Vedas they are perfectly good, but 
when they do not agree they are no more to be accepted. 
So with the Quoran ; there are many moral teachings in 
these, and so far as they agree with the Vedas they have the 





authority of the Puranas, but no more. The idea is that the 
Vedas were never written, the idea is they never came into 
existence. I was told once by a Christian missionary that their 
scriptures have a historical character and therefore are true. 
To which I replied " mine have no historical character, and 
therefore they are true ; yours being historical they were 
evidently made by some man the other day. Yours are 
man-made and mine not ; their non-historicality is in their 
favour." These are the relations of the Vedas with the 
other books at the present day. 

We now come to the teachings of the Upanishads. 
Various texts are there. One is perfectly duaHstic. What 
do I mean by dualistic ? There are certain doctrines which 
are agreed to by all the different sects of India. First there 
i« the doctrine of SamsdrUf or re-incarnation of the soul. 
Secondly, they all agree in their psychology ; first there 
i^ the body, behind that, what they call the Sukshma- 
S'arlra, the mind, and behind that even, is the jiva. That 
is the great difference between Western and Indian Psy- 
chology, that in the Western Psychology the mind is the 
sou', here it is not. The Antahkarana, the internal instru- 
ment, as the mind is called is only an instrument in the 
hands of that jiua, through which the jiva, works on the 
body, or on the external world. Here they all agree, and 
they all also agree that this jiva, or Aiman, Atmafi, 
jivdtman as it is called by various sects, is eternal, without 
beginning ; and that it is going from birth to birth, until it 
gets a final release. They all agree in this, and they also 
all agree in one most vital point, which alone marks 
cliaracteristically, most prominently, most vitally, the perfect 
difference between the Indian and the western mind, and ' 
it is this, that every thing is in the soul. There is no in- 
spiration, but properly speaking expiration. All powers 
and all purity and all greatness— every thing is in the soul. 

Soul tternc 


The Yogi would tell you that the Siddhis—Anima^ 
Laghima^ and so on — that he wants to attain to, are not 
to be attained, in the proper sense of the word but are 
already there in the soul ; the work is to make them 
manifest. Pantanjali, for instance,, would tell you that 
even in the lowest worm that crawls under your feet are 
all the eightfold Yogi's powers already existing. The 
difference has been made by the body. As soon as he gets 
a better body the powers will become manifest, but they 
are there. Nimittam aprayojakam prakrithidm varana 
bhedastuy tatah kshetrikavat. He gives a celebrated ex- 
ample of the cultivator bringing water into his field from a 
huge tank somewhere. The tank is already filled and the 
water would flood his land in a moment, only there is a 
wall between the tank and his field. As soon as the 
barrier is broken, in rushes the water out of its own power 

ndpure, and force. This mass of power and purity and perfection 
is in the soul already. The only difference is this dvarana 
— this veil— that has been cast over it. Once the veil is 
removed the soul attains to purity, and its powers become 
manifest. This, you ought to remember, as the great 
difference between Eastern and Western thought , when 
you find people teaching such awful doctrines as that we 
are all born sinners, and because we do not believe in such 
awful doctrines we are all born wicked, and never stopping 
to think that if we are by our very nature wicked, we can . 
never be good — how can nature change ? If it changes, 
it contradicts itself ; it is not nature. We ought to re- 
member this. Here the Dualist, and the Advaitist, and 
all others in India agree. 

i^^ The next point, which, as it at present stands, all the 

sects in India believe in, is God. Of course their ideas of 
God will be different. The Dualists believe in a personal 
God, and a personal only* I want you to understand this 



word personal, a little more. This word personal doe** not 
mean that God has a body, sits on a throne somewhere, 
and rules this world, but personal means Sagima, with quali- 
ties. There are many descriptions of the personal God. 
This personal God as the Ruler, the Creator, the Pre^ierver, God, 
and the Destroyer, of this universe, is believed in by all 
the sects. The Advaitists believe something more. They 
believe in a still higher phase of this personal God, which 
is personaKimpersonal. No adjective can illustrate where The Absolute 
there is no quahfication, and the Advaitist would not give 
him any qualities except the three — Satchid(inanda, Exis- 
tence, Knowledge and Bliss Absolute. This is what 
Sankara did. But in the Upanishads themselves you find 
they penetrate even further, and ?ay nothing can be said 
except netiy neii " not this, not this." Here all the different 
Sects of India agree. But taking the dualistic side— as 1 have 
said I will take Ramanuja as the typical dualist of India, the RamtHujtCs 
great modern representative of the dualistic systeins. It is a ^^^^ 
pity that our people in Bengal know so very little about the 
great religious leaders in India, w^ho have been born in 
other countries, and for that matter during the whole of the 
Mahommedan period, with the exception of our Chaitanya, 
all the great religious leaders were born in Southern India, 
and it is the intellect of Southern India that is really 
governing India now ; for even Chaitanya belonged to one 
of these sects, a sect of the Madhvas. According to Rd- 
manuja thes« three entities are eternal — God, and soul, 
and Nature. The souls are eternal, and they will remain 
eternally existing, individualised through eternity, and will 
retain their individuality all through. Your soul will be 
different from my soul through all eternity, says Ramanuja^ 
and so will this nature, which is an existing fact, as much 
existing as the existence of soul, or the existence of God — 
tl^is will remain always. And God is interpenetrating, the 


essence of the 'soul. He is the Antarydmin ; in this sense 
Rimanuja sometimes thinks that God is one with the soul, 
the essence of the soul, and these souls, at the time ojf 
Pralayaj wlien the whole of nature becomes what he calls 
Sankocha, contracted, become contracted also minute, and 
remain so for a time. And at the beginning of the next cycle 
they all come out, according to their past Karma,^.nA under- 
go the effect of that Karma. Every action that makes the 
inborn, the natural purity and perfection of the soul 
go inside, get contracted, is a bad action, and every 
action that makes it come out and expand itself is 
a good action, says Ramanuja. Whatever helps make the 
Vikdsa of the soul is good, whatever make it Sankocha is 
bad. And thus the soul is going on, expanding or con- 
tracting in its actions, till, through the grace of God, comes 
Salvation. And that grace comes to all souls, says Rama- 
nuja, that are pure and struggle for that grace. There ij a 
celebrated verse in 'the Sruitis, Ahdra suddhau sattva- 
suddhih sattva-suddhau dhruvd sniritihie.y "when the 
food is pure then the Saitva becomes pure; when the 
Saliva is pure than the smnli," the memory of the Lord, 
or the memory of our own perfection — if you are an Ad- 
vaitist — " becomes truer, steadier, and absolute." Here 
is a great discussion. First ot all what is this Saliva ? 
We know that according to the Sankhya — and it has been 
admitted by all our sects of philosophy — the body is com- 
posed of three sorts of materials — not qualities, mind ; it 
is the general idea that Saliva, Rajas and lamas are 
qualities. Not at all, not qualities but the materials of 
this universe, and with ahdra hcddhi when the food is 
pure, the Saliva material becomes pure. The one theme 
of the Veddnta is to get this Saliva. As I have told you, 
the soul is already pure and perfect, and it is, according 
to the Vedanta, covered up by Rajas and 7> was particles. 


The Sattva particles are the most luminou?, and the efful- 
gence of the soul penetrates through them as easily as 
hght through glass. So if the Rajas and Tainas particles 
go, and leave the Sattva particles, in this state the power 
and purity of the soul will appear, and leave the soul more 
manifest. Therefore it is necessary to have this Sattva. 
And the text says " when the dhdra becomes pure." Ra- 
manuja takes this word to mean food, and he has made it 
one of the turning points of his philosophy. Not only so, 
it has affected the whole of India, and all the different 
sects. Therefore, it is necessary for us to understand 
what it means, for that, according to Ramanuja, is one of 
the principal factors in our life, dhdra hiddhi. What 
makes food impure, asks Ramanuja ? Three sorts of defects 
makes food impure — first, jdtij the very nature of the class, 
to which the food belongs, as onions, garlic, and so on. 
The next is as ray a j the person from whom the food 
comes — a wicked person is d^raya, and so on ; food coming 
from him will make you impure. I myself have seen many 
great sages in India following strictly that advice all their 
lives. Of course they had the power to know who brought 
food, and who has even touched the food, and I have seen 
it in my own life, not once, but hundreds of times — the per- 
son from whom it comes. Nimitta-dosha, impurity in food 
is another. We had better attend to that a little more now. 
It has become too prevelent in India to take food with dirt 
and dust and bits of hair in it. If food is taken from which 
these three defects have been removed, that makes sattva- 
sudd hi f purifies the Sattva. Religion seems to be a very easy 
task then. Everyone can do that, if it is by eating pure 
food only. There is none so weak or incompetent in this 
world, that I know, who cannot save himself from these de- 
fects. Then comes Sankaricharya, who says this word 
dhdra means thought collected in the mind ; when that 




becomes pure, the sattva becomes pure, and not before that. 
You may eat what j'ou like. If food alone would purify 
the Sattva, *then feed the monkey with milk and rice all its 
life ; would it become a great Yogi ? The cows and the 
deer would become great Yogis first. As has been said, if it 
is by bathing much, the fishes will get to heaven, first. If 
by eating vegetables a man gets to heaven, the cows and 
the deer will get to heaven first. But what is the solution ? 
Both are necessary. Of course that idea that Sankara- 
charya gives us of the next is the primary idea. But pure 
food, no doubt, helps pure thought ; it has an intimate 
connection ; both ought to be there. But the defect is that in 
modern India we have forgotten the advice of Sankara- 
charya and taken only the "pure food " meaning. That 
is why people get mad with me when I say religion has got 
into the kitchen, and if you had been in Madras with rae 
now you would have agreed with me. You Bengalees are 
better than that. In Madras they throw away food if any 
body looks at it. And with all this, I do not see that the 
people are any the better there. If only eating this and 
that sort of food, and saving it from the looks of this per- 
son and that person would give them perfection you would 
expect them all to be perfect men, which they are not, 
apart from the few friends we have now here — of course 
they are perfect. 

Thus, although these are to be combined, and linked 
together to make a perfect whole, do not put the cart be- 
fore the horse. There is a cry now-a-days about this and 
Varna:^ that food, and about Varndsrama and the Benralees are 

ama in •/• • 1 • t , 1 

Bengal, the most vociierous m these cries. I would ask every one 
of you what do you know about this Var?idsra?na ? Where 
are the four castes to-day in this country ? Answer me ; 
I do not see the four castes. Just as our Bengalee proverb 
says, as headache without a head, you want to make this 


Varndsrama here. There are not four castes here. I see 
only the Brahmin and the Sudra. It there are the Ksha- 
triyas and the Vaisyas where are they, and why do not you 
Brahmins order them to take the Yagnopavita and study 
the Vedas, as every Hindu is ordered ?— and if the Vaisyas 
and the Kshatriyas do not exist, and only the Brahmins and 
the Sudras exist, the Sdstras say that the Brahmin must 
not live in a country, where there are only Sudras, so depart 
bag and baggage. Do you know what the Sdstras say 
about people who have been eating nilechchha food, and 
living under a Government of the mlechchhaSf as you have 
for the last thousand years ? Do you know the penance for 
that ? The penance would be burning one's self with his own 
hands. Do you want to pass as teachers and walk 
like hypocrites ? If you believe in your Sdstras bum 
yourselves first like the one great Brahmin did, who went 
with Alexander the Great, and burnt himself because he 
thought he had eaten the food of mlechchha. Do like that 
and you will see that the whole nation will be at your feet. 
You do not believe in your own Sdstras and want to make 
others believe. If you think you are not able to do that in 
this age, admit your weakness and excuse the weakness of 
others, take the other castes up by the hand give them a 
helping hand, let them study the Vedas, and become just 
as good Aryans as any other Aryans in the world, and be 
you likewise Aryans, you Brahmins of Bengal. 

Give up this filthy Vdmdchdra that is killing your Vamachaaf 
country. You have not seen the other parts of India. When in Bengal, 
I enter my own country with all its boast of culture, it is a 
most disgraceful, hellish place I find, when I see how much 
the Vdmdchdra has entered our society. These Vdmdchdra 
sects are honeycombing our society in Bengal and it is 
those who carry on the most horrible debauchery at night, 
who in the day time come out and preach most loudly about 




Theory of 

^chdrdi and in this way they are backed by the most 
dreadful books. They are ordered by the books to do these 
things. You know it who are of Bengal. The Bengalee 
SUstras are the Vdmdchdra Tantras. They are pubhshed 
by the cart-load, and poison the minds of your children 
instead of teaching them your Srutis. Do you not feel, 
fathers of Calcutta, a shame that such horrible stuff as these 
Vdmdchdra Tantras, with translations too, should be put 
into the hands of your children, boys and girls, and their 
minds poisoned, and that they should be brought up with 
the idea that these are the Sdstras ol the Hindus ? If you 
do, take them away from your children, and let them read 
the true Sdsiras, the Vedas, the Gita, the Upanishads. 

According to the dualistic sects of India, the individual 
soals remain as individuals throughout, and God is the 
Creator of the universe out of pre-existing material, only as 
the efficient cause. According to the AdVaitists, on the 
other hand, God is both the material, and the efficient cause 
of the universe. He is not only the Creator of the universe, 
but He creates it out of Himself. That is the Advaitist 
position. There are crude dualistic sects who believe that 
this world has been created by God out of Himself, and at 
the same time God is eternally separate from the universe 
and at the same time everything is eternally subordinate 
to this Ruler of the Universe. There are sects too who also 
believe that out of Himself God has evolved this Universe, 
and individuals in the long run attain to Nirvdna, to give up 
the finite and become the infinite. But these sects have 
disappeared. The one sect of Advaitists that you see in 
modern India is composed of the followers of Sankara. 
According to Sankara, God is both the material and the 
efficient cause, through Mdyd, but not in reaUty. God has 
net become this universe, but the universe is not, and 
God is. This is one of the highest points to under- 


stand of Advaita Vedanta, this idea of Mdy^. I am 
afraid I have no time to discuss this one most difficult ^^*^ ^"^ 
point in our philosophy. Those of you who are acquainted 
with Western philosophy will find something very similar 
in Kant. But I must warn you, those of you, who have 
studied Professor Max Muller s writings on Kant, that 
there is one idea most misleading. It was Sankara who 
first found out the idea of the identity of time, space and 
causation with Maya, and I had the good fortune to find 
one or two passages in Sankara's commentaries and send 
them to my friend the Professor. So even that idea was 
here in India. Now this is a peculiar theory — this Moyd 
theory of ithe Advaita Vedantists. The Brahman is all 
that exists, but differentiation has been caused by this 
May a. Unity, the one Brchman, is the ultimate, the goal, 
and herein is an eternal dissension again between Indian 
and Western thought. India has thrown this challenge to 
the world for thousands of years, and the challenge has 
been taken up by different nations, and the result is that 
they all succumbed and you live. This is the challenge, 
that this world is a delusion, that it is all Mdyd, that 
whether you eat out of the ground with your fingers, or 
dine out of golden plates, whether you live in palaces, are 
one of the mightiest of monarchs, or are the poorest of 
beggars, death is the one result ; it is all the same, all 
Mdyd That is the old Indian theme, and again and again 
nations are springing up trying to unsay it, to disprove it, 
becoming great, enjoyment their watchword, power in their 
hands, and they use that power to the utmost, enjoy to the 
utmost, and the next moment they die. We stand for ever 
because we see that everything is Mdyd. The children of 
Mdyd live for ever, but the children of enjoyment die. 

Here is again another great difiTerence. Just as you ^^^ ^ 
find in German Philosophy the attempts of Hegel and ^^i*^ 


fthe world 
vighest good. 


ads to 

Schopenhauer you will find the very same ideas coining in 
ancient India. Fortunately for us Hegelianism was nipped 
in the bud, and not allowed to sprout out and cast its bane- 
ful shoot over this mother-land of ours. Hegel's one idea 
is that the one, the absolute, is only chaos, and that the 
individualised form is the greater. The world is greater 
than the non*world, Samsara is greater than salvation. 
That is the one idea, and the more you plunge into this 
Samsara, the more your soul is covered with the workings 
of life, the better you are. They say do you not see how 
we build houses, cleanse the streets, enjoy the senses. Aye, 
behind that they may hide rancour, misery, horror — behind 
every bit of that enjoyment. On the other hand, our 
philosophers have from the very first declared that every 
manifestation, what you call evolution, is vain, a vain at- 
tempt of the unmauifested to manifest itself. Aye, you 
almighty cause of this universe, trying to reflect yourself 
into little mud puddles, and after making the attempt for 
a little lime you find out it was vain, and beat the retreat 
to the place from whence you came. This is Vairdgya, 
or renunciation, and the very beginning of religion. How 
can religion or morality begin without renunciation, itself ? 
The Alpha and Omega is renunciation, " give up," says the 
Vedas, " give up." That is the one way, give up. Na pra- 
jayd dhanena nachejyayd tydgenaikena amritatva^ndnasuk 
^' Neither through wealth, nor through progeny, but by 
giving up alone that immortality is to be reached." That 
is the dictate of the Indian books. Of course, there have 
been great givers up of the world even sitting on the 
thrones, but even Janaka himself had to renounce ; who 
was a greater renouncer than he ? But in modern times we 
all want to be called Janakas. They are all Janakas of 
children, unclad, ill-fed, miserable children. That is all 
they are of Janaka, not with shining, God-like thoug<tits 



as the old Janaka was. These are our modern Janakas. 
A little less of this Janakism now, and come straight to 
the mark I If you can give up, you, will have religion. If 
you cannot you may read all the books that are in the world, 
from East to West, swallow all the libraries, and become the 
greatest of Pandits, but if you have that Karma-kdnda you 
are nothing ; there is no spirituality. Through renuncia- 
tion alone this immortality is to be reached. It is the 
power, the great power, that cares not even tor the universe, 
Brahmdndam goshpaddyate ue., " how the whole universe 
becomes a hollow made by a cow's foot." Renunciation, 
that is the flag, the banner of India, floating over the world 
the one undying thought which India sends again and 
again as a warning to dying races, as a warning to all 
tyranny, as a warning to wickedness in the world. Aye, 
Hindus, let not your hold of that banner go. Hold it aloft. 
Even if you are weak, and cannot renounce, do not lower 
the ideal. Say I am weak and cannot renounce the world, 
but do not try to be hypocrites, torturing texts, and making 
Specious arguments and trying to throw dust in the eyes 
of people who ought to have known better. Do not do 
that, but declare you are weak. For the idea is great, that 
of renunciation. What matters if millions fail in the at* 
tempt if one, if two, if ten soldiers return victorious 1 Bless- 
ed be the millions dead ! Their blood has bought the 
victory. This renunciation is the one ideal throughout the 
different Vedic sects except one, and that is the Vallabha- 
charj'a sect in Bombay Presidency, and most of you 
are aware what comes where renunciation does not 
exist. We want orthodoxy, even the hideously ortho- 
dox, even those who smother themselves with ashes, 
even those who stand with their hands uplifted. Aye, 
we want them, unnatural though they be, as a warning 
to the race, of the idea of giving' up rather than the 

efifeminate luxuries that are creeping into India, trjnng 
to eat into our very vitals, trying to make the whole 
race a race of hypocrites. We want to have it. Renun- 
ciation has conquered India in days of yore, it has still to 
conquer India. Still it stands greatest and highest of 
Indian ideals, — renunciation. The land of Buddha, the 
land of Ramanuja, of Rkmakrishna Paramahamsa, the land 
of renunciation, the land where, from the days of yore, was 
preached against Karma-kanda, and even to-day there 
are hundreds who have given up everything, passed every- 
thing away and hecomt Jivanmtiktas — Aye, will that land 
give up its ideals ? Certainly not. There may be people 
whose brains have become turned with Western luxurious 
ideals. There may be thousands and hundreds of thou- 
sands, who have drunk deep of this curse of the West, 
enjoyment, the curse of world, the senses, yet for all that 
there will be other thousands in this mother-land of mine 
to whom religion will be a reality, and who are ready to 
give up without counting the cost, if need be. 

vX«/w", Another ideal very common in all our sects, I want to 

place before you ; it is also a vast subject. This idea is 
unique in India alone, that is to say that religion is to be 
realized. Ndyamdtmd pravachanena labhyo 7ia mcdhaya 
bahund inUena. " This Atman is not to be reached by 
too much talking, nor is it to be reached by the power of 
intellect." Nay, ours is the only scripture in the world 
that declares not even by the study of the scriptures the 
Atman is to be realised — not talks, not lecturing, none of 
that, but it is to be realised. It comes from the teacher 
unto the disciple. When this insight comes to the disciple 
every thing is cleared up and realisation comes. 

7»ru ? One more idea. There is a peculiar custom in Bengal 

which they call kulaguru. My father has been your 
Guru, I will be your Guru. My father has been the Guru 


ofvour father I will be vours. What is a Guru ? Let us 
go back to the Srutis " He who knows the secret of the 
Vedas" not book-worms, not Grammarian?i, not Pandits in 
general, but he who knows the meaning. Vat/id kharas- 
diandana bhdravahi bhdrasya vettd 7ia tn chandanasyG) 
** An ass laden with a mass ot j^andal wood knows onh'^ 
the weight of the wood, but not its precious qualities ;" 
so are tliese Pandits ; we do not want these, not 
such. What can they teach if they have no realisa- 
tion ? When I was a boy here in this city of Calcutta, 
I used to go from place to place in search of leia- 
gion, and everywhere I asked after heanng very big ditbuttkt 
lectures, " have you seen God?" The man was taken aback *^gaiizaii<m. 
at the idea of seeing Gol, and the only man who told me 
" I have '' was Ramakrishna Paramaliamsa, and not only 
so but he said *^ I will put you in the way of seeing Him 
too." Not a man who can twist and torture texts as, 
Vdgvaikharl sabdajliarl sdsira vy^hydna kausalam vaidti- 
shyam mdushdm tadvat bhuktaye natu muktaye " Different 
ways of throwing out words, different ways of explaining 
texts of the scriptures, these are for the enjoyment of the whom 
learned, not for freedom." Srotriya, he who knows the J^t^tsan 
secret of the Svutiri, Avrijma, the ainlesji^^isid A/id^nahaitay '•^^'»»'«^<»^*' 
he w^ho does not want to make money b-y teaching you — 
he is the Santa, the Sddhu, who comes- as the spring, which 
brings the leaves and fruits to various, plants, but does rot 
ask anything from the plant, for its very nature is to do 
good. It does good and there it is^ Siich is the Guru. 
Tirvd^svayam bhima bhavdrnavam hi, anydnalietunapi 
tdravantah. "Who has himself crossed this ocean of lile,, 
and without any idea of gain to himself helps others to 
cross the ocean also." This is the Gtiru, and murk 
that none else can be a Guru, for Avidvdvamafi" 
tare vartamdndh svayam dhirdh panditam map^a^ 



y according India. 



mdndh jans^hnnvamdndh pariyanti mfuihah andhe- 
naiva niyamandh yathindhdh^ '* Themselves steeped 
in darkness, but in the pride of their hearts think they 
know everything ; do not stop even there, want to 
help others, and, blind leading the blind, both fiill into 
the ditch." Thus, say your Vedas. Compare that and 
3'Our present custom. You are Vedantists, you are very 
orthodox, are you not ? You are great Hindus, and very 
orthodox. Aye, what I want to do is to make you more 
orthodox. The more orthodox you are the more sensible, 
and the more vou think of modern orthodoxy the more 
foolish vou are. Go back to vour old orthodoxy, for in 
those days every sound that came from these books^ every 
pulsation, was out of a strong, steady, and sincere heart ; 
every note was true. Atter that came degradation, in art, 
in science, in religion, in everything, national degradation. 
We have no time to discuss the causes but all the books 
written about that period breathe of the pestilence, the na- 
tional decay, intead of vigour, only wails and cries. Go 
back, go back to the old days, when there was strength 
and vitality. Be strong once more, drink deep of this 
fountain of yore and that is the only condition of life in 

According to the Advaitist, I am forgettmg ray Dualist 
and Advaitist, it is such a vast subject, and I have so much 
to tell you about many things that I forget everything 
else — according to the Advaitist, therefore, this individuality 
which we have to-day is a delusion. This has been a hard 
nut to crack all over the world. Forthwith you tell a man 
he is not an individual, he is ^o much afraid that his indi- 
viduality, whatever that may be, will be lost. But the says there never has been an individuality, you 
have been changing every moment of your life. You have 
been a child and tliouglit in one way, you are a man and 


think another way, you will be an old man and think 
another way. Everybody is changing. If so, where is 
your individuahty ? Certainly not in the body, or in the 
mind or in thought. And beyond that is your Atman, and, 
says the Advaitist, this Atman is the Brahman itself. 
There cannot be two Infinites. There is one only indivi- 
dual and it is Infinite. In plain words, we are rational be- 
ings, and we want to reason . And what is reason? More 
or less of classification, until you cannot go on any further. 
And the infinite can only find its ultimate rest when it is 
classified into the Infinite. Go on taking up a finite and 
finding its reasons, and so on. but you find rest nowhere 
until you reach the ultimate, or infinite, and that infinite, 
says the Advaitist, is w^hat alone exists. Everything else is 
Maya, everything else does not exist, whatever is of exist- 
ence in any material thing is this Brahman ; we are this 
Brahman^ and the shape and everything else is Maya, Take 
off the form and shape, and you and I are all one. But 
we have to guard against the w^ord, ' 1/ Generally people 
say, if I am the Brahman why cannot I do this and that, 
but it is using the word in a different sense. You think 
you are bound ; no more you are Brahynan the Self, who 
wants nothing, whose light is inside. All his pleasures and 
bliss are inside, perfectly satisfied w^ith himself, wants no- 
thing, expects nothing, perfectly fearless, perfectly free. 
That is Brahfnan, In that we are all one. 

Now this seems, therefore, to be the great point of ^r^-^ -^^ 
difference between the Dualist and tlie Advaitist. You yat'^ty- 
find even great commentators like Sankardcharya, making 
meanings of trxts, which, to my mind, sometimes do not 
seem te be justified. Sometimes you find Ramanuja deal- 
ing with texts in a way that is not very clear. This idea 
has been even among our Pandits — one of these sects can 
alone be true and the rest false, although they have got the 

ind ihi 


idea even from the 'Srutis, the most wonderful idea that 
India has yet to give to the world, Ekam sat viprd 
bahudhd vado'iiti " That which exists is one ; the sages 
call it by various names." That has been the theme, and the 
worldngKJUt ofthe whole of this life-problem of the nation 
is the working t)ut of that Wxtmt— -Ekam sadviprd bahudJii 
vadanti : Yea, except a very few learned men, I mean 
except a very few spiritual men, in India, we always 
forget this. We forget this great idea, and you will find 
that tltere are persons among Pandits— I should think 98 
per cent. — who are of opinion that either the Advaitist 
will be true, or the Visishtadvaitist will be true, 01 the 
Dvaiti!»t will be true, and if you go to Benares, and sit for 
five minutes in one of those ghats you will have demonstra- 
f/armoMv tiou of what I Say. You will see a regular bull-fight 
(re-Jmm^dy g^iug ou, aboiit thesc various sects and things. Thus it 
i/i^^^^^'"^ remains, and then came one whose life was the explana- 
trisAna, tiou, wliose life was the working out of the harmony that 
is the background of all the different sects of India, I 
mean Rlmakrishna Paramahamsa. It is his life that 
explains that both of these are necessary, that they are 
like the geocentric and the heliocentric in astronomy. 
When a child is taught astronomy he is taught the 
geocentric first, and works out similar ideas of astronomy 
to the heliocentric. But when he comes to finer systems 
of astronomy, the heliocentric will be necessary, and he 
will understand it better. Dualism is the natural idea of 
tlie senses ; as long as we are bound by the senses \ve are 
bound to see a God who is only Personal, and nothing but 
Personal, we are bound to see the world as it is. Says 
Ramanuja, " so long as you think you are a body, and j'ou 
think you are a mind and you think you are a jiva every 
act of perception will give you the three, God and nature 
and ffomething a,« causing both." But yet, at the same 


time, even the idea of the body disappears where the 
mind itself becomes finer and finer till it has almost all 
disappeared, when all the different things that bind us 
down to this body-life, make us fear, make us weak, have 
disappeared. What is the Upanishad saying ? Ihaiva 
tairjUas^oargah yes fid n sdmye sthitam manah, Nirdo^ 
sham hi samam Brahma tasmat Brahmani te sthitdh &c. 
Then and then alone one finds out the truth of that 
grand old saying — " Even in this life they have conquered 
heaven, whose minds are firm fixed on this sameness 
of everything, for God is pure, and the same to 
all, and therefore, such are said to be living in God, 
Thus seeing the same Lord the same everywhere he 
the sage, does not hurt the self by the self, and thus goes 
to ihe highest goal," 


'rom the 
itizens of 

After spending two months at Darjeeling, at the 
request of the citizens of Almora on- the Himalayas the 
Swami went to that place. At Lodea close to Almora a 
large crowd greeted him. Mounted on a horse dressed 
in handsome trappings he entered the City amidst con- 
stant cheering and general rejoicing of the people, and was 
received in a gorgeously decorated pandal improvised for 
tlie occasion by covering with cloth a section of the 
bazaar street. Pandit Jwala Dutt Joshi read a Hindi 
address on behalf' of the Reception Committee of which 
the following is a translation : — 

" X^-reat-souled one. — Since the time we heard that, after 
gaining spiritual conquest in the West, you had started from 
England for your fatherland, India, we were naturally desirous of 
having the pleasure of seeing you. By the grace of the Almighty, 
that auspicious moment has at last come. -The saying of the great 
poet and the prince of JJhaktas, Tulsidas— "A person who in- 
tensely loves another is sure to find him,'* has been fully realized 
to-day. We have assembled here to welcome you with sincere 
devotion. Xou have highly obliged up by your kindly taking so 
much trouble in paying a visit to this town again. We can hardly 
thank you enough for your kindness. Blessed are you ! Blessed, 
blessed is the revered Gurudeva who initiated you into Yoga, 
Blessed is the land of Bharata where, even in this 'fearful 
Kaliyuga^ there exist leaders of Aryan families like yourself. 
Even at an early period of life, you have by your simplicity 
sincerity, character, philanthropy, severe discipline, conduct, and 
the preaching of knowleGg:e acquired that immaculate fame 
throughout the world of which we feel so much proud. 


In truth you have accomplished that difficult task which no- 
one ever undertook in this country since the days of Sri Snnkara- 
charya. Which . oF us ever dreamt that a descendant of the old 
Indian Aryans by dint of tapns, would prove to the learned 
people of England and America the superiority of the Ancient 
Indian Keligion over other creeds. In the World's Parliament of 
Eeli^ions held in Chicago, before the representatives of difft^renfe 
religions assembled there, you so ably advocated the superiority of 
the ancient religion of India, that their eyes got openedi In that 
great assembly, learned speakers defended their respective religions 
in their own way, but you surpassed them all. You completely 
established that no religion can compete with the religion of the 
Vedas. Not only this, biit by preaching the ancient wisdom at 
various places in the continents aforesaid, you have attracted 
many learned men towards the ancient Aryan Religion and 
philosophy. In England, too, you have planted the banner ol the 
ancient religion which it is impossible now to remove. . 

Up to this time the modern civilized nations of Europe and 
America were entirely ignorant of the genuine nature oF our 
religion, but you have with your spiritual teaching opened thfir» 
eyes, by which they have-come to know that the ancient religion^ 
which owing to their ignorance they used to brand ** as a religion 
of subtleties of conceited people or a ma^s of dist-ourses meant For 
fooly,'*' is a mine of gems. Certainly, " It is better to have a 
virtuous and accomplished son than to have hundreds of foolish 
ones.'' It is the moon that singly with its light dispels all dark- 
ness and not all the stars put together.*' It is only the life af 
good and virtuous sons like yourselF that is really useful to the 
world. Mother India is consoled in her decayed state by the 
presence of pious sons like you. Many have crossed the seas and 
run to and fro, but it was only through the reward of your past 
good Karma that you have proved the, greatness of our religion, 
beyond the seas. You have made it the sole aim of your lite by 
word, thought and deed, to impart spiritual instruction to human- 
ity. You are always ready to give religions instruction. 

" We have heard with great pleasure that you intend 


establishing a Math fMonastery) lierft and we sinoeri«ly pray that 
your efforts in this direction may be crowned with success. Th* 
gn-at Sankaracharya also after bis spiritual conquest, establislied 
a Math at BadarlL'^srama in the Himahiyastor the protection of 
the ancient reli»^ion. Siuiilarly, it' your desire is also iultilled^ 
India will be greatly brtnelited. By the estahlishuieiit ol: the 
M'lth^ we Kuuiaonees will derive special spiritual advatitages* and 
we will not see the ancient religion gradually disappearing froia 

our midst. 

From time immemorial, this part of the country has been the 
land of asceticism. The greatest of the Indian sau:es have passed 
tlieir time in piety and asceticism in this land, all of which luive 
become a thing of the past. We earnestly hope that by tlie 
establishment of the Mdtk vou will kindlv make us realise it again. 
It was this sacred land which enjoyed the celebrity all over 
India of having true religion, A'nrm/r, discipline, and fair dealinir, 
all of which seem to have been decaying by the efflux of time. 
And we hope that by your noble exertions this land will revert to 
its ancient religious state. 

We cannot adequately express tlie joy we have felt at your 
ariival here. May you liv«i long, enj'tying perfect health and 
leading a phih)uthropic life. May your spiritual powers be ever 
on the increase so that through your endeavours the unliappy 
etate of India may soon disappear. 

Pandit Hari Ram Paude followed with a second 
address from Lala Badri Shah who was the Swami's host 
during the whole of his stay at Almora ; and a Pandit 
read an equally appreciative Sanskrit address. 

The Swami made a brief reply only. He said : — 
the goal of 1 nis is the land of dreams of our fore-fathers, in which 

Vo^uk^e was bom Parvati, the mother of India. This is the holy 

fktsi^y!'^ ^^"^' ^'"^^^^ ®^^^>' ardent soul iq^ India wants to come at 
the end of its life and to close the last chapter of its moruil 


career here. There on the tops of the momitains of this- 
blessed land, in the depths of its caves^ on the banks of 
its rushing torrents have been thought out the most 
wonderful thoughts, a little bit af whieh has drawn so 
much admiration even from foreigners,, and which have- 
been pronounced by the most competent of judges to be 
incomparable. This is the laiid which,, since my very 
childhood, I have been dreaming of^in which ta pass my 
life and as all of you are aware I have attempted again and 
again to live here for ever, and^ although the time was not 
ripe, and I had work to do and was- whirled outside of this 
holy place yet it is the hope of my life ta end- my days some- 
where in this father of mountains, where Rishis lived, where 
philosophy was born. Perhaps, my friends, 1 shall not be 
able to doit, in the same way that it was my plan* before — 
that silence, that unknawnness would also be given ta me,, 
yet I sincerely pray and hope, and almost believe,, my last 
days will be here of all places on earth. Inhabitants of 
this holy fend, accept my gratitude for the kind praise that 
has fallen from you for my little work in the West. But, at 
the same time, my mind does not want ta speak of these 
works, either in the East or in the West. As peak after 
peak of this father of mountains began ta appear before °^^J^ ^^' 
my sight, all those propensities tawork, that ferment that tkatetemm 
had been going on in my bi ain for y^2iX^y seemed ta quiet '^~" 
down, and instead of talking about what had been done,, 
and what was going ta be done, the mind reverted to that 
one eternal theme which the Himalayas always teach us,, 
that one theme which is reverberating in the very atmos- 
phere of the place,, the one theme the murmur of whose- ^^Jiu^fJ" 
dreams I hear, the one thing that I hear in the rushiiig ''^»' 
whirlpools of its rivers — renunciation. Sarvam vastw 
blmydnvitam bhuvi nrindm vairagyamevdbhayam, — everj^- 
thing in this life is fraught with. fear. It is renunciation* 



that makes one fearless." Yes, this is the land of re- 
nunciation. The time will not permit me, and the 
uic/tesf circumstances are not proper, to speak to you fully. I 
»hall have to conclude, therefore, by pointing out to you 
that these Himalayas stand for that renunciation ^ and the 
grand lesson we shall ever teach unto hnrrmnity will be 
renunciation. As our fore-fathers used to be attracted to- 
wards it in the latter days of their lives, so strong souk 
from all quarters of this earth, in time to come, wnll be at- 
tracted to this father of mountains, when all this fight bet- 
ween sects, and all those differences in dogmas, will not 
be remembered any more, and quarrels between your 
religion and my religion will have vanished altogether, 
when mankind wnll understand that there is but one 
eternal religion » and that i^ the perception of the Divine 
within^ and the rest is mere froth : such ardent souls will 
come here knowing that the world is but vanky of vanities, 
knowing that every thing is useless except the worship of 
the Lord and the Lord alone. Friends, you have been 
very kind to allude to one idea. I have yet in my brain, 
to start a centre in the Himalayas and perhaps I have 
sufficiently explained myself why it should be so> wh}-, 
above all,, this is the spot which I want to select as one of 
the great centres to teadi this imiveisal religion. These 
mountains are associated with the best memories of our 
race, if these Himalayas are taken^ awav from tl>e liistorv 
of religious India, there will be very little left behind. 
Here, therefore^ must be one of those centres, not merely 
of activity, but more of calmness, of meditation, and of 
peace and I hope some day to realise it. I hope also to 
meet you at other times, and have better opportumties of 
talking to yoiK For tlie present let me thank you again 
for all kindness that has been shown to me, and let me 
take it as not onl^^ kindfless showu to me in person^ but as 


representing our religion which may never leave our hearts* 
May we always remain as pure as we are at the present 
moment) and as enthusiastic for spirituality as we are 
just now. 


When the Swami's visit was drawing to a close hid 
friends in Almora wished for a lecture. The English 
residents in the station also expressed a wish to hear him, 
and invited him to give an address at the. English Club. 
In order to give them the opportunities they desired, 
aiTangements were made for two lectures in the iZillah 
School, and one in the Club. There had been a wish 
expressed by many persons that one of the lectures should 
be in Hindis It was held that that language is still in an 
unformed or undeveloped condition, and does not lend 
itself readily to modern oratorical style. The lecturer 
consented to make the attempt for the first time, but 
quite anticipated finding the Hindi language too inflexible.^ 
or at least unsuitable ; he was therefore prepared to 
abandon it, and carry on the lecture in English* But 
from the first it was evident that he was complete master 
of the situation. He began slowly, and soon warmed to 
his theme, and found himself building his phrases and 
almost his words as he went along. Those best acquainted 
with the difficulties and limitations of the Hindi language 
as a medium for oratory, expressed their opinion that a 
triumph had been achieved) probably unique of its kind, as 
w^ell as profoundly interesting — also that the lecturer had 
proved by his masterly use of it that the language had in 
it undreamt of possibilities of development in the direction 
of oratory* 

The subject was *^ \'edic Teaching in Theory and 


Practice " The audience was a highly educated intelligent 
-collection, who listened with breathless interest and 
obvious pride to the eloquence and learning of their cele- 
brated fellow-countryman. 

A short historical sketch of the rise of the worship of 
the tribal God, and its spread through conquest of other 
tribes, was followed by an account of the Vedas. Their 
nature, character and teaching were briefly touched upon. 
Then the Swami spoke about the soul, c6mparing the 
Western method, which seeks for the solution of vital and 
religious mysteries in the outside world, with the Eastern 
method, which, finding no answer in nature outside, turns 
its enquiry within. He justly claimed for his nation the 
glory of being the discoverers of the Introspective method 
peculiar to themselves, and of having given to Humanity 
the priceless treasures of spirituality which are the result 
of that method -alone. Passing from this theme naturally 
fcO dear to the heart of a Hindu, the Swami reached the 
<;limax of his power as a spiritual teacher when he describ- 
ed the relation of the Soul to God, its aspiration and real 
unity with God. For sometime it seemed as though the 
Teacher, his words, his audience, and the Spirit prevading 
them all, were one. No longer there was any conscious- 
ness of " I " and " Thou " of " this " or *' that." The 
different units collected there were for the time being lost 
and merged into the Spiritual radiance which emanated so 
powerfully from the Great Teacher, and held all more than 
spell bound. 

Those that have frequently heard him will recall and 
recognize a similar experience, — a moment when he ceases 
to be Swami Vivekananda lecturing to critical and attentive 
hearers, — all details, and personalities are lost, names and 
forms disappear, only the Spirit remains, uniting Speaker, 
Hearer, and spoken word. 


In response to invitations from the Punjab and Kash* 
ynkf the Swami travelled through those parts and though 
he did not do any active work on his way he stayed a 
month there, and delivered a few lectures in Hindi. The 
power and life that he put into that language was so 
unique that at the request of the Maharajah he wrote a 
few papers in that language and presented them to him. 
His work is said to have been appreciated very much by 
the Maharajah and his brothers. 

He then spent a few days in visiting Murree, Rawal- 
pindi and Jammu. One of the Swami's objects in visiting 
these parts of the Himalayas vr/s to select a suitable site 
for a religious Training School for Bramachdrins. He 
paid a two-days' visit to Sialkote and delivered one lecture 
in English and another in Hindi and proceeded from 
there to Lahore* 

Here the Swami was accorded a grand reception 
by the leaders, both of the Arya Samaj and of the San&tana 
Dharama Sabha. As the Swami's mission wherever he 
went was to find a common platform of agreement 
for the variety of sects that exist now in our country 
there, to use his own expression, he wished to show 
that while sects are necessary all the world over, sec-> 
tarianism need not exist. The people of the Punjab were 
much impressed with his earnestness and power to assist 
in the regeneration of India. Throughout his stay both 
at Sialkote and at Lahore he was very emphatic in 
liis insistence upon practical work being more necessary in 
India than mere theory of which he believed that the 

iconntty has had enough and to Spare. The stawing 
^iillions, he urged) cannot live on metaphysical speculations) 
they require bread ;and in a lecture which he gave in La* 
\\ott on Bbakti, he suggested that the best religion for to^ 
day is that every man should, according to his means, go 
out mtb the streets to search for one, t\vt), six or twelve 
hungry Nkt&yanas, take them into their houses) feed 
them) clothe theni) and offer them all the worship they 
would give to their images. Man is the highest temple of 
God, and the worship of God through man is therefore the 
highest, alvvajTS remembering in such work that according 
to the Hindu Rehgion the receiver is greater than the giver 
becaiisC) for the time being, the receiver is God Himself* 
He added that he had seen charity in many countries, and 
the reason of its failure was the spirit in which it was car- 
ried out. '^ Here take this and go away%" Charity behed 
its niame so long as it Wa^ given to gain name or the ap- 
plause of the worlds 

As a result of many conversations of this nature 
both Sialkote and Lahore are doing something by which 
his visit will be remembered. At Sialkote among the many 
Who came to see him were two Sadhatiis from the Hills, 
and this gave him the idea of suggesting an institution 
there for the training of girls. The proposal was warmly 
taken up, and an influential committee was formed to take 
the preliminary steps^ In this connection, it may be 
mentioned that the Swami strongly felt the importance of 
primary education for boys and girls being imdertaten 
by women teachers, and he welcomed any steps 
which fitted women for this work. He regarded this also 
as one excellent means of settling the problem how to 
provide for Hindu widowsw At Lahore he, one afternoon, 
gave a large number of undergraduates a long talk, sug* 
gesting work which was open to them^ An association waft 


at once created of an entirelv nnsectarian charac- 
ter for working among " the poor Narayans " — the giving- 
of food, the nursing of the sick, and the education of the 
ignorant, on simple and popular lines,, during the evenings. 
Before he left Lahore for Dehra Dun and othei places he 
delivered three lectures, two of them being in English. The 
first of these was on the practical and theoretical aspects 
of the Vedanta.'* 


Two worlds there are in which we live, one the 
external, the other the internal. Human progress has fort^^Zj 
been, from times of jrore, almost in parallel lines along ^^^ ^^^^ 
both these worlds. The search began in the external, arid worlds. 
man at first wanted to get answers for all the deep pro- 
blems from outside nature. Man wanted to satisfy his 
thirst for the beautiful and the sublime from all that 
surrounded him ; man wanted to express himself and all 
that was within him in the language of the concrete ; and 
grand indeed were the answers,, most marvellous ideas of 
God and worship, most rapturous eixpressions of the 
beautiful. Sublime ideas came from the externa! world 
indeed. But the other, opening out for humanilj'' Iater> 
laid out before him a universe yet suWimer, yet more 
beautiful, and infinitely more expansive. In the^ATirwa- 
kdnda portion of the Vedas we find the most wonderful 
ideas of religion inculcated, we find' tlie most wonderful 
ideas about an over-ruling Creator, Preserver and Destroy- 
er and this universe presented before us in language some- 
times the most soul-stirring. Most of 'V'ou perhaps 
remember that most wonderful ^lokm in the Rig Veda 
Samhita where you get tlie description of choas, per- 
haps the sublimest that has ever been attempted yet. 
In spite of all this we find it is only a painting of 

the sublime outside, in spite of all this we find that 
yet it is gross, that something of matter yet clings on 
to it. Yet we find that it is only the expression of the 
Infinite in the language of matter, in the language of the 
finite, it is the infinite of the muscles and not of the mind. 
It is the infinite of space and not of thought. Tliere- 
fore in the second portion, or Jn^na-kdnda we find there 
is altogether a different procedure. The first was to search 
out from external nature the truths of the imiverse. The 
first attempt was to^get the solution of all the deep problems 
of life from the material world. Yasyaiie HimavanUr 

"Whose glory these Himalayas declare." This is a 
grand idea, but yet it was not grand enough for India. 
The Indian mind had to fall back — and the research took 
a different direction altogether from theexternal, the search 
came into the internal, from matter into the nrfnd. There 
arose the cry " when a man dies, what becomes of him ?"^ 
AstUyeke ndyafnastlti chaikcj Sfc. 

" Some say that he exists, others that he is^ gone ; say^ 
Oh king of Death, what is truth ?" An entirely different 
procedure we find here. The Indian mind got what was 
to be got from the external world, but it diid not feel 
satisfied with that ; it wanted to search more, tadig in its 
own interior, to seek from its own soul,, and the answer 

The Upanishads, or the Vedanta, or the Aranyakas,. or 

ind cuimi' Raka^a, is the name of this portion of the Vedas. Here we 

Ug^tr ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^'^^ religion has got rid of all external formali- 

^ptriiuaiity ^ics. Here we find at once not that spiritual things are told 

usAuds. in the language of matter, but that spirituality is preached in 

the language of the spirit, the superfine in the language of 

the superfine. No more any grossness attaches to it,, no 

more is there any compromise with thing^^ that concera us. 

Bold, brave, beyond our conception of the present day, 
stand the giant minds of the sages of the Upanishads, de- 
claring the noblest truths that have ever been preached 
unto humanity, without any compromise, without any fear* 
This, my countr}'men, I want to lay before you. Even 
the Jndna-kdnda of the Vedas is a vast ocean ; many 
lives are necessary to understand even the least bit of it. 
. Truly has it been said of the Upanishads by*Ramanuja 
that the Vedanta is the head, the shoulders, the crested 
form of the Vedas, and surely enough it has become the 
Bible of modern India. The Hindus have the greatest 
respect for the Karma-kdnda of the Vedas, but, for alS 
practical purposes, we know that for ages by Sruti has 
been meant the Upanishads and the Upanishads alone. 
We know that all our great Philosophers, either Vyasa, or 
Patanjali, Or Gautama, or even the great father of all 
philosophy, the great Kapila himself, where\'^r they 
wanted an authority for what they wrote, from the 
Upanishads every one of them got it and nowhere else, 
for it is therein that are the truths that remain for ever. 

There are truths that are true only in a certain line,. 
in a certain direction, under certain circumstances,, and for 
certain times, those that are founded on the institutions of 
the time ; there are other truths that are based on the 
nature of man himself that must endure so long as man 
himself endures. These are the truths that alone can be 
universal, and in spite of all the changes that, we are sure, 
must have come in India, as to our social surrounding^^,, 
our methods of dress, our manner of eating, our 
modes of worship, even all these have changed, but 
these universal truths ot the SrutiSy the marvellous 
Vedantic ideas, stand in their own sublimity, immov- 
able, unvanquishable, deathless, and immortaL Yet the 
germs of all the ideas that are developed in the 



The three 

. Upani- 


. Vyasa 

. The GiiM^ 

kese three 

Upanishads have been taught already in the Karma-kdnda. 
The idea of the cosmos, which all sects of Vedantists had 
to take for granted, the psychology which has formed the 
common basis of all Indian schools of thought, had been 
w^orked out already and presented before the world. A 
few words, therefore, about it are necessary before we 
start into the spiritual portion of the Vedanta alone, and I 
want to clear m3'self of one thing first, that is, my use of, 
the word Vedanta. Unfortunately there is a mistake 
committed many times in modern India, that the word 
Vedanta has reference only to the Advaitist system, but 
you must always remember that in modern India there are 
the three Prasthdnas for man to study. First of all there 
are the revelations, by which I mean the Upanishads. 
Secondlj^, among our philosophies, the Sutras of Vyasa 
have got the greatest prominence, on accoiJnt of their 
being the summation of all the preceding systems of 
philosophy ; not that these systems are contradictory to 
one another, but the one is based on the other, it is a 
gradual unfolding of the theme which culminates in the 
Sutras of Vyasa ; and between the Ui>anishads and the 
Sutras, which are the systematising ot the marvellous 
truths of the Vedanta, come in the divine commentarv of 
the Vedanta, S'ri Gita. The Upanishads, the Gita, and 
the Vyasa Sutras, therefore, have been taken up by every 
sect in India which wants to claim authority to be ortho- 
dox, whether Dualist, or Vaishnavist, or Advaitist it 
matters little, but the authorities of each are these three. 
We find that a Sankarachaiya, or a Raman uja, or a 
Madhwacharya, or a Vallabhacharya, or a Chaitanva — 
any one who wanted to propoui>d a new sect — had to take 
up these three systems and write only a new commentary 
on them. Therefore it would be wrong to confine the 
word Vedanta only to one system which has arisen out of 

the Upanishads. All these have been covered by the 
word Vedanta. The Ramanujist has as much right to be 
called a Vedantist as the Advaitist ; in fact I will go a 
little further and say that what we really mean by the 
word Hindu is the word Vedantist ; the word Vedantist 
^vill express it too. One idea more I want you to note, 
that these three s^'stems have been current in India 
almost from time immemorial — for you must not believe 
that S'ankara was the inventor of the Advaitist system ; it 
existed ages before Sankara was born ; he was one of its 
last representatives. So was the Ramanujist system ; it 
existed ages before Ramanuja existed, as we already know 
by the commentaries they have written ; so were all the 
Dualistic systems that have existed side by side with the 
others, and with my little knowledge I have come to the Advaitac 
conclusion that they do not contradict each other. Just ^^^^^^^ 
as in the case of the six Darsanas of ours, we find they tory 
are a grand unfolding of the grand principles, the music 
beginning in the solt low notes, and ending in the triump- 
hant blast of the Advaita, so also in these three systems 7;^^^^^,-, 
we find the gradual working up of the human mind ^* ^f*h 
towards higher and higher ideals, till everything is merged other 
in that wonderful unity which is reached in the Advaita 
system. Therefore these three are not contradictory. On 
the other hand I am bound to tell you that this has been 
a mistake committed by not a few. We find an Advaitist 
preacher keeps these texts which teach Advaitism especially 
entire, and gets hold of the Dualistic or Qualified-dualistic 
texts and tries to bring them into his own meaning. We 
find Dualistic teachers leaving those passages that are 
expressly Dualistic alone, and getting hold of Advaitic 
texts and trying to force them into a Dualistic meaning ; 
they have been great men, our Gurus, yet there is such a 
saying as Dosfiaj even the faults of a Guru must be told. 

I am of opinion that in this only they were mistaken. 
We need not go into text torturing, we need not go into 
any sort of religious dishonesty, we need not go into any 
sort of grammatical twaddle, we need not go about tr3dng 
to put our own ideas into texts which were never meant 
for those ideas, but the work is plain and it is easier once 
you understand the marvellous doctrine of Adhikara Vedas. 

« the starch It IS truc that the Upanishads have one theme before them. 

mu utJfy!' '^ What is that knowing which we know everything else ?" 
In modem language the theme of the Upanishads, like the 
theme of every other knowledge, is to find an ultimate 
unity of things, for you must remember that knowledge is 
nothing but finding »'unity in the midst of diversity. Each 
science is based upon this ; all human knowledge is based 
upon the finding of unity in the midst of diversity ; and if 
it is the task of small bits of humati knowledge, which I 
call our sciences, to find unity in the midst of a few different 
phenomena, the task becomes stupendous when the theme 
betore us is to find unity in the midst of this marvellously 
diversified universe, different in name and form, different in 
matter and spirit, different in everything, each thought 
differing from every other thought, each form differing 
from every other form, how many planes, unending lokas— 
in the midst of this to fiijd unity, this is the theme of the 
Upanishads ; that we understand. On the otlier hand the 
old idea of Arundhati j\ydya applies. To show a man the 
Pole Star one takes the nearest star which is bigger than 
the Pole Star and more brilliant, and leads him to fix his 
mind on that, until at last he comes to the Pole Star. 
This is the task before us, and to prove my idea I have 
simply to show you the Upanishads, and you will see it. 
Nearly every chapter begins with Dualistic teaching, 
updsana. Later on God is first taught as some one who is 
the Creator of this universe, its Preserver, and imto whom 


every thiug gofcs at last. He is one to be worshipped, the 
Ruler, the Guide of nature, external and internal, yet as if 
he were something outside of natuce and external. One 
step further, and we find the same teacher teaching that 
this God is not outside nature, "but immanent in nature. 
And at last both ideas are discarded and whatever is real 
is He ; there is no difference. Tat twam asi Sveiaketo. — 
That immanent one is at last declared to be the same that 
is in the human soul. " Svetaketu, Thou that art." Here 
is no compromise ; here is no fear of other s opinions. 
Truth, bold truth, has been tamght in bold language, and 
we n^ed not fear to preach the truth in the same bold 
language to-day, and by the grace of God I hope at least 
to be the bold one who dares to be that bold preacher. 

To go back to our preliminaries. There are first two cosmobgv 
things to be understood, one the psychological aspect com- Vidanta, 
mon to all the Ved^ntic schools, and the other the cosmo- 
logical aspect To-day you find wondeirful discoveries of 
modern science coming Hpon us like bolts from the blue, 
opening our eyes to marvels we never dreamt of. Man 
had long since discovered what he calls force. It is only 
the other day that man came to know that even in the 
midst of this variety of forces there is a unity. Man 
has just discovered that what he calls heat, or magnetism 
or electricity, or so forth, are all convertible into one 
thing, and as such he expresses all that one unit force 
whatever you may call it. This has been done even in 
the Samhita, old and ancient, hoary as the Samhita is 
that very idea of force I was referring you to. All the 
forces, either you call them gravitation, or attraction, or 
repulsion, either expressing themselves as heat, or electri- 
city, or magnetism, are nothing, not one step further. 
Either they express themselves as thought, reflected from 
aniahkarana, the inner organs of man have one organ. 


and the unit from which they spring is what is called the 
prdna. Again what is prdna ? Prdna is spandana or 
Prana vibration. When alld;his universe will have resolved back 
into its primal state, what becomes of this infinite force ? 
Do they think that it becomes extinct ? Of course not. If 
it became extinct, what would be the cause of the next 
wave, because the motion is going in wave forms, rising, 
falling, rising again, falling again ? Here is the word 
srishtl which expresses the universe. Mark that the word 
is not creation. I am helpless in talking English ; I have 
to translate the Sanskrit words anyhow. It is srishtij 
projection. Everything becomes finer and finer afid is 
resolved back to the primal state from which it sprang, and 
there it remains for a time, quiescent, ready to spring 
forth again. That is srishti, projection. And what be- 
comes of all these forces, the prdna ? They are resolved 
back into the primal prdfia, and this prdna becomes almost 
motionless — not entirely motionless, but almost motionless 
-^and that is what is described in the sfikta. " It vibrated 
without vibrations" dnidavdtam. There are many difficult 
texts in the Upanishads to understand, especially in the 
use of technical phrases. For instance the word vdyUf to 
move ; many times it means air and many times motion, 
and often people confuse one with the other, We have to 
take care of this. " It existed in that form." And what 
becomes of what you call matter ? The forces permeate all 
matter ; they all dissolve into ether, from which they 
again come out ; and the first to come out was dkdsa. 
Whether you translate it as ether, or anything else, this is 
the idea, that this dkdsa is the primal form of matter. 
This dkdsa vibrates under the action o( prdna, and when 
the next srishti is coming up, as the vibration becomes 
quicker, the dkdsa is lashed into all these wave forms 
which we call suns, and moons, and systems. 


Yadidam kincha jagaL sarvam prdna ejati nissrilam. 
We read again. : '^Everything in this universe has 
been projected, prdna vibrating." You must mark the 
word ejati, because it comes from ej, to vibrate, Nissritam 
projected, yadidam kincha — whatever is this universe. 

This is a part of the cosmological side. There are 
many details working into it. For instance, how the pro- 
cedure takes place, how there is first ether, and how from 
the ether come other thing««, how that ether begins to 
vibrate, and from that vdyii comes. But the one idea is 
here, that it is from the finer that the grosser has come. 
Gross matter is the last to come and the mast external, 
and this gross matter had the finer matter before it. 
Yet we see that the whole thing has been resolved into 
two, and there is not yet any unity. There is the unity 
of force, prdna ; there is the unity of matter called dkdsa. 
Is there any unity to be found among them again ? Can 
thev be melted into one ? Our modern science is mute 
here, has not yet found its way out, and if it is finding its Phih^phv 
way out, just as it has been slowly finding the same old 
prdna and the same ancient dkdsa, it will have lo move 
along the same hnes. The next unicy is the omnipresent 
impersonal being known by its old mythological name as 
Brahma, the four-headed Brahma, and psychologically 
called mahat. This is where the two unite. What is 
called your mind is only a bit of this mahat caught in the 
trap of the brain, and tl^ sum total of all brains- caught in 
the meshes of mahat is what you call samashti. Analysis 
had to go further ; it was not yet complete. Here we 
were each one of us, as it were, a microcosm,, and the 
world taken altogether is the macrocosm. But whatever 
is in the vyashti, we may safely conjecture that a similar 
thing is happening also outside. If we had the power to 
analyse our own minds we might safely conjecture that 




the same thing is happening in our own minds. What is this 
mind is the question. In modern times in Western coun- 
tries, as physical science is making rapid progress, as phy- 
siology is step by step conquering stronghold after strong- 
hold of old religions, the Western people do not know 
where to stand, because to their great despair modern 
physiology has identified the mind with the brain at every 
step. And that we in India have known always. That 
was the first proposition the Hindu boy should learn, that 
the mind is matter, only finer. The body is gmss, and be- 
hind the body is what we call the sukshma xar/ra^ the 
fine body or mind. This is also material, only finer ; and 
it is not the dtman. I will not translate this word ta 
you in English, beause the idea does not exist in Europe ; 
it is untranslatable. The modern attempt of German philo- 
sophers is to translate the word dtman by the word 
* self,' and until that word is universally accepted it is im- 
possible to use it. So, call it as self or anything, it is our 
dtman. This dtman is the real man behind. It is the 
dtman that uses the material mind as its instrument, it» 
antahkarana, as the psychological term for the mind is. 
And the mind by means of a series of internal organs 
works the visible organs of the body. What is this mind ? 
It was only the other day that Western philosophers 
have come to know that the eyes are not the real organs of 
vision, but that behind these are other organs, the indriyas, 
and if these are destroyed a man may have a thousand eyes, 
like Indra, but there will be no sight for him. Aye, your 
philosophy starts with this assumption, that by vision 
is not meant the external vision. Tlie real vision belongs 
to the internal organs, the brain centres inside. You may 
call them what you like, but it is not that tlie indriyas are 
the eyes, or the nose or the ears. And the sum of total of 
air these indriyas plus the ?nafias, buddki^ chitta, ahankdra^ 

is what fs called the mind, and if the modism physiolbgfst 
comes to tell you that th« brain is what is called the- 
mind and that the brain is formed of so many organs^ 
you need not b« afraid at all ; tell him? your philosophers- 
knew it always ; it is the very alpha of your religion. 

Well then^ w« have to understand now what is meant 
by this manas buctcthi, chitta, akank^ra, etc;. First of all 
let there he^chitta ; it is the mind stuff. That part of tbe 
waA^/ -it is the generiename for the mind itself, includ- 
ing all its various states. Suppose here is a- lake, on a 
summer evening smooth and calm, without a ripple- on its Chutat 
surface. Let us call this the chitta. And suppose anybody 
throws a stcme upoa this lake. What happens ? First 
there is the actioi>> the blow given to the water ;;next the- 
water ascends and sends a reaction towards the stone> and 
that reaction takes the form of a wave. First the water 
vibrates a little, and immediately sends back a reaction in 
the form, of a wave. Tliis- ckitta let us compare to this 
lake,, and the external objects are like these stones thrown^ 
into it. As soon as it comes in contact with any external 
object by means^ of these iiidriyas — the indriyas- must be 
thereto take these external objects inside — there is- a ^^^^^ 
vibration^ what is called tlie ina^uxs^ indecisive; Next 
there is a reaction, the determinative faculty, buddhiyZXiA 
along with this buddhi flashes the idea aham and the ex- 
ternal object. Suppose there is a mosquito sitting upon- 
my hand. This sensation is carried ta my chitta ^Liid. this 
vibrates a little ;. this is the p»»ychological tnanas.. Then' 
there is a peaction,.and immediately comes the idea that 
I have a mosquito on m>y hand,.and tliat I shall have to^ 
drive it off. Thus these stones are thrown into* the lake,, 
but in the case of the lake every blow that come» to it is^ 
from the external world, while in the case of the lake of 
the miad the blows- may cithei; came from the extemali 



world, or the internal world. Tl)i.s is what is called the 
untahkarana. Along with it you ouglit to understand 
one thing more that will help us in understanding the 
Ada vita svf^tem later on. It is this. All of vou mu-^t have 
seen pearls and most of you know how pearls are made. 
Some iriitating grain of dust and sand enters into the body 
of the mother of pearl of oyster^ and sets up an irritation 
there, and the oystei:^s body reacts towards the irritation 
and covers the little grain with its own juice. That cry- 
stalises and forms the pearl. So the whole univene is 
the pearl which is being formed by us. What we get 
from the external world is simply the blow. Even to 
know that blow we have to react, and as soon as we re- 
act we project really a portion of our own mind towards 
the blow, and when we come to knovV of it, it is really our 
own mind as it has been shaped by the blow. Tlierefore 
it is clear even to those who want to believe in a hard and 
fast realism of an external world, and they cannot but ad- 
mit in these days of physiology, that supposing that we 
represent the external world by " X" what we know 
really is " X " plus mind, anl this mind element is so 
^reat that it has covered the whole of that " X " which 
has remained unknown and unknowable throughout, and 
therefore if there is an external world it is alwavs un- 
known and unknowable. What we know of it is as 
moulded, formed, fashioned by our own mind. So with 
Atman. ^^ intcnial world. The same applies about our own 
soul, the (U^naiu In order to know tlie atman we 
have to know it through the mind, and therefore what 
little we know of tliis atman is simply the atman plus the 
mind. That is to say, the tf/;;ia« covered* over fashioned^ 
aud moulded by the mind, and nothing more. We shall 
come to this a little latex, but we will remember it here. 
The next thing . to uadersanJ is this. Tbc^ questioa 


arose, this body is the name of one continuous stream of ^^J^ ^^' 
matter. Every moment we are adding material to it, and 
every moment material is getting out of it, like unto a 
river continually flowing, vast masses of water always 
changing places; at the same time we take up the whole 
thing in imagination, and call it the same river. What do 
we call the river ? Every moment the water is changing, the 
shore is changing, every moment the trees and plants, the 
leaves, and the foliage are changing, ; what is the river ? 
It is the name of this series of changes. So with the mind. 
There is the Buddhistic side, the great Kshanika Vtjndfia 
Vdda doctrine, most difficult to understand, but most 
rigorously and logically worked out, and this arose also in 
India in opposition to some part of the Vedanta. That 
had to be answered, and we will see how, later on, it 
could only be answered by Advaitism'and by nothing, else. 
We will see also how, in spite of people's curious notions 
about Advaitism, people's fright about Advaitism, it is the 
salvation of the world, because therein alone is the reason 
of things. Duahsm and other things are very good as 
means of w^orship, very satisfying to the mind, may be it 
has helped the mind onward ; but if man wants to be 
rational and rehgious at the same time, Advaita is the one 
system in the world for him. Well now, the mind is a 
a similar river, continually emptying itself at one end, 
and filling itself at the other end. Where is that unity 
which \te call the dtynan ? The idea was this that, inspite 
of this continuous change in the body, and inspite of this 
continuous change in the mind, our ideas are unchange- 
able, our ideas of things are unchangeable ; therefore, as 
rays of light coming from different quarters, if they fall 
upon a screen, or a wall, or upon something that is not 
changeable, then and then alone it is possible for them to 
form a unity, then and then alone it is possible for thtm to 


form one complete whole. Where is this unity in the 
human organs, falling upon which, as it were, the various 
ideas will come to unity and become one complete whole ? 
This certainly cannot be the mind, seeing that it also 
changes. Therefore there raust be something which is 
neither the body nor the mind, that which changes not, 
the unchangeable, upon which all our ideas, our sensations 
fall to form a unity, and a complete whole, and this is the 
real soul, the alnian, of man. And seeing that everything 
material, either you call it fine matter, or mind, must be 
changeful; seeing that what you call gross matter, the 
external world, must also be changeful in comparison to 
that ; this uncliangeable sometlung can no more be of 
material substance ; therefore it is spiritual ; that is to say, 
it is not matter, indestructible, unchangeable. 

Next will come the question apart from those old 
*aramat' arguments which only rise in tlie external world, the 
arguments from Design — who created this external world^ 
who created matter, &c* ? The idea here is to know truth 
only from the inner nature of man, and the question arises 
just in the same way as it arose about the soul ; taking for 
granted that there is a soul, unchangeable, in each man 
which is neither the mind, nor the body, there is still a unity 
of idea among the souls, a imity of feeling, of sympathy. 
How is it possible that ray soul can act upon your soul, 
where is the medium through which it can work, where is 
the medium through which it can act? How is it lean feel 
anything about your souls ? What is it that is in touch both 
with your soul, and with ray soul ? Therefore there is a 
metaphysical necessity of admitting another soul, for it must 
be a soul which acts in contact with all the different soub 
and in matter ; one soul which covers and interpenetrates 
all the infinite number of souls in the world, in and through 
which it lives, in and through which it sympathises, and 



loves, and works [t#r one another.] And this cinivi^rsal Sonl 
is Paramdhnany the Lord God of the universe. Again, it 
follows that because the soul is not made of matter, since 
it is spiritual, it cannot obey the laws of matter, it cannot 
be judged by the laws of matter. It is therefore deathless 
and changeless — Nainam chhindatUi iastrdni, &fc. " This 
Self the fire cannot burn, nor instruments pierce, the sword 
cannot cut it asunder, the ak cannot dry it up^ nor the 
water melt ; unconquerable, deathless, and birthless is this 
Self of man." What is this Self doing then ? We have 
known that according to the Gita and according to the 
Vedanta, tins individual Self is also z^/dAu, is according to 
Kapila, omnipresent. Of course there are sects in India 
according to which this Self is anu ; but what they miean is 
anu in manifestation ^ its teal naCtfte is viihu. 

There comes another idea, startling perhaps^, yet a t^- 
characteristically Indian idea, and if therd is any idea that 
is common to all out sects it is this. Therefore 1 beg you 
to pay attention to tliis one idea and to temembet it, for 
this is the very foundation of ever3rthing that we have in era compa 
India. The idea is this. You have heard of the doctrine ^^J^ ^ 
of physical evolution preached in the Western world, by *^oUtuM^ 
the German and the English savants. It tells us that the 
bodies of the different animals ate really one, the dififerenoe 
•that we see ate but dififetent expressions of the same series, 
that from the lowest worm to the highest and the most 
saintl}'' man it is but one, the one changing into the othet 
and so on, going up and up, higher and highet, until it 
obtains perfection. We had that alsO. Declares our Yogi 
VatdLnj^li—Jdlyaniara parindmah, one species — the jdii is 
species — changes into another species — evolution ; pa rind'' 
mah means one thing changing into another, just as one 
species «hanges into another. Where do we differ from the 
Europeans ? Prakrity&purat ^^ By the infilling of aature*** 


The European says it is competition, natural and sexual j- 
selection, &c., that forces one body to take the form of 
^V^Ui^it another. But here is another idea, a ntill better analysis, 
iiin^^ ofna- going deeper into the thing, and saying—'* By the infilling 
w of social of nature." What is meant by this infilling of nature ? 
^*^ We admit that the amoeba goes higher and higher until it 

becomes a Buddha ; we admit that, but we are, at the same 
time, as much certain that you cannot get any amount of 
work out of a machine until you put it in on the other side. 
The sum total of the energy remains the same, whatever 
the form it may take. If you want a mass of energy at 
one end you have got to put it in at the other end, it may 
be in another form, but the amount must be the same. 
Therefore, if a Buddha is the one end of the change, the 
very amoeba must have been the Buddha also. If the 
Buddha is the evolved amoeba, the amoeba was the involv- 
ed Buddha also. If this universe is the manifestation of 
an almost infinite amount of energy, when this universe 
was in a state of pralaya it must have been otherwise. As 
such it follows that every soul is infinite. From the lowest 
worm that crawls under our feet to the noblest and greatest 
saints, all have this infinite power, infinite purity, and 
infinite everything. Only, the difference is in the degree 
of manifestation. The worm is only manifesting just a 
little bit of that energy ; you have manifested more, 
another god-man has manifested still more ; that is all the 
-difference. But it is there all the same. Says Patanjali :— 

Tatah KsheirikavaL 

'^ Just as the peasant irrigating his field." He has got 


a little corner that comes into his field and brings water 
from a reservoir somewhere, and perhaps he has got a little 
lock that prevents ti.e water from rushing into his field. 
When he wants water he has simply to open the lock and 


in rushes the i^-ater out of its own power. The power ha^ 
not to be added, it is already there in the reservoir. So- 
every one of us, every being has as his own background 
such a reservoir of strength, infinite power, infinite puritv, 
infinite bliss, and existence infinite, only these locks, these 
bodies are hindering us from expressing what we really are 
to the fullest. And as these bodies become more and more 
finely organised, as the tdmasa guna becomes tlie rAjasa 
giinqy and as the rdjaza guna becomes sattva guna^ mare 
and more of this power and purity becomes manifest : and 
therefore it has been that our people have been so careful 
about eating and drinking and the food question. It may^ 
be that the ideas have been lost, just as with our child- 
marriage — which, though not belonging to the subject, I 
may take as an example ; if I have another opportunity I 
will talk to you of these, but the ideas behind child mar- 
riage are the only ideas throu^^h which there can be a real 
civilization. There cannot be anything eUe. Just if a 
man or a woman w^re allows:! the freedom to take xo any 
man or woman as his wife or her hmband, if individual 
pleasure, if satisfaction of animal instinct^,, were to be 
allowed to run loose in society, the result mu^t be e\'il,. 
evil children, wicked and demoniacal. Aye,, man in every 
country is, on the one hand, producing these brutal chil- 
dren, and on the other hand multiplying the police force 
to keep these brutes down. The question is not how to 
destroy evil tliat way^ but how to prevent the very birth 
of evil, and so long as you live in society your marriage 
certainly aflFects me and everyone else, and therefore 
society has the right to dictate whom you sliall marry, and 
whom you shall not. And such great ideas have been 
behind the system of child marriage here ; what tliey call 
the astrological jdti of the bride and bridegroom. And in 
passing 1 may remark that acbording to Manu a child who 


hi Atman 
\r if perfect 

is born of lust is not an Aryan. The child whose verf 
conception and whose death is according to the rules of 
the Vedas, such is an- Aryan. Yes, and less of these- 
Aryan children are being produced in every country,, 
and the result is the moss of evil which we call Kali Yuga. 
But we have lost all this ; it is^ true we: cannot carry all 
these ideas ta the fullest length now, it is. perfectly^ true we- 
have made almost a caricature of some of these great ideas- 
It is perfectly true that the fathers and mothers are^pot 
what they were ia old times,, neither is society sO' educated 
as it used ta be, neither has society that love for individuals- 
that it used to have- But, however the- working out may 
be, the principle is sound,, and if one work has^ become- 
defective, if one idea has failed, take it up, and work it out 
better ; why kill the principle ? The same applies to the 
food question ; the work and details a*e bad,, very bad 
indeed, but that does- not hurt the principle. The principle 
is eternal and must be there. Work it out afresh, and. 
make a reform application. 

This is the one great idea of the dhnanm India whiclv 
every one of our sects has got to believe, only>- as we wilt 
find,, the Dualists- preach that thi^ atman by evil works be- 
comes sankocka, all its powers and its nature become con- 
tracted, and by good works again that nature e.xpands- 
And the advaitist says th^ the* a/;wanr never expands or 
Gontnacts, but seems to do so, it appears to^haare become 
contracted That is^ all the difference, but all have the one 
idea that our dtman ha^ all the powers already, not that 
anything will come toil from- outside, not that anything' 
will drop into it from the skies. Mark you, your Vedas 
are not inspired^ but expired, not that they came fromi 
anywhere outside> but they are eternal every 
soul. The Vedas are in the souljof the ant, in. the soul of 
the godr The ant has only ta evolve and getthe-body V a 




sage or a Rishi, and the Vedaa will come out, eternal laws 
expressing themselves. This is one great idea to undei- 
stand, that our power was already ours, our salvation is 
already inside. Say either that it has become contracted* 
Dr say that it has been covered with the veil of mayct it 
matters little ; the idea is there already ; you must have to 
believe in that, believe in the possibility of everybody, even 
in the lowest man there is the same possibility as in the 
Buddha. This is the doctrine of the dtman. 

But now comes a tremendous fight. Here are the 
Buddhists, who analyse the body into a material stream Buddhist 

vtsw statiA 

and equalh'' analyse the mind into another. And as andcHtia 
about this dtman they state that it is unnecessary ; we 
need not assume the dtman at all. What use of % 
substance and qualities adhering to the substance ? We 
say giuiasj qualities, and qualities alone. It is illogical to 
assume two causes where one will explain the whole thing. 
And the fig^jt went on, and all the theories which held the 
doctrine of substance were thrown on the ground by the 
Buddhists, There was a break up all along the hne of all 
those who held on to the doctrine of substance and 
qualities, that you have a soul, and I have a sou), and 
every one has a soul separate from the mind and body — 
and each one individual. So far we have seen* that the 
idea of Dualism is «kll right, for there is the body, there is 
then the fine mind, there is this dtmauy and in and through 
all the dimansy is that Paramdtman, God. The difficulty is 
here, that this dtman and Paramdtfnan are both so-called 
substance, to which the mind and body and so-called 
substances adhere like so many qualities^ Nobody has- 
ever seen a substance, none can ever conceive ; wiiat is 
the use of thinking of this substance ? Why not become a 
Kshanikay and say that whatever exists is this succession 
of mental currents and nothing more. They do not adhere 



to each other, they do not form a unit, one is chasing the 
other, Hke waves in the ocean, never complete, never 
forming one unit whole. Man is a succession of waves, 
and when one goes away it generates another, and so on, 
and the cessation of these wave forms is what is called 
Nirvdna. You see that Dualism is mute before this, it is 
impossible that it can bring up any argument, and the 
Dualistic God also cannot be retained here. The idea of a 
God that is omnipresent, and yet is a person who creates 
without hands, and moves without feet^ and so on, and who 
has created the universe as a kumbhakara creates a ghata^ 
the Buddhist declares that if this is God he is going to 
fight this God and not worship it. This universe is full of 
misery ; if it is the work of a God, we are going to fight 
this God. And secondly, this God is illogical and impossi- 
ble, as all of you are aware. We need not go into the 
defects of the Design people as all our Kshanihas had to 
declare, and so this personal God fell to pieces. Truth, 
and nothing but truth, you declare is your one word ; 
Satyameva jayati. 

" Truth alone triumphs, and not untruth." Through 
truth alone the way to Devayana lies. Everybody 
marches forw-ard under that banner ; aye, but it is only to 
smash weak man's position under his own. You come 
with your Dualistic idea of God to pick up a quarrel with 
a poor man who is worshipping an image, and you think 
you are wonderfully rational, you can break him up and if 
he turns round and smashes up your own personal God, 
and calls that an imaginary ideal, where are you ? You 
fall back on faith and so on, or raise up the cry of atheism, 
the old cry of weak man — whosoever defeats him is an 
atheist. If you are to be rational, be rational all along 
the line, and if not, allow others the same privilege which 
you ask for yourselves. How can you prove the existence 


of this God ? On the other hand it can be disproved 
almost. There is not a shadow of proof as to his exis- ^ 
tence, and there is some proof to the contrary. How will 
you prove his existence, with your God, and his gu7iaSy 
and an infinite number of souls which are substance and 
each soul an individual ? In what are you an individual ? 
You are not as a body, for you know to-day better than 
even the Buddhists of old knew that what may have been 
matter in the sun has just now become matter in you, and 
just now will go out and become matter in the plants, 
where is your individuality, you Mr, so and so ? The same 
applies to the mind. Where is ycur individuality ? You 
have one thought to-night and another to-morrow. You 
do not think the same way as you thought when you 
weie a child, and old men do not think the same way as 
they did when they were young. Where is your indivi- 
duality ? Do not say it is in consciousness, this ashankdra, 
because this only covers a small part of your existence. 
While I am talking to you all my organs are working and 
I am not conscious of it. If consciousness is the proof of 
existence they do not exist, then, because I am not consci- 
ous of them. Where are you then with your personal God 
theories f How can you prove such a God ? Again, the 
Buddhists will stand up and declare not only is it illogical, 
but immoral, for it teaches man to be a coward and to 
seek aisistance outside, and nobody can give him such 
help. Here is the universe, man made it, why, then de- 
pend on an imaginary being outside whom nobody ever 
saw and felt, or got help from ? Why then do you make 
cowards of yourselves, and teach your children that the 
highest state of man is to be a dog, to go crawling before 
this imaginary being, saying that you are weak and impure,^ 
and that you are everything vile in this universe ? On the 
other hand the Buddhists may urge not only that you tell 


a lie, but that you bring a tremendous amount of evil upon 
your children, for, mark you, this world is one of hypno- 
' tisation. Whatever you tell yourself that you believe. 
Almost the first words the great Buddha uttered were— 
*' What you think, that you are, what you shall think, that 
you shall be.," If it is true <io not teach yourself that you 
are nothing, aye, that you cannot do anything 
unless you are helped by somebody who does not live 
here, who sits above the damp-clouds. The result will 
be that you will be more and more weakened everyday ; 
the result will be " we are very impure, Lord, make us 
pure," and you will hypnotise lyourselves that way into 
all sorts of vices. Aye, the Buddhists say that 90 per 
cent, of these vices that you see in every society are 
on account of this idea of a personal God, and becoming 
a dog before him, this awful idea of the human being that 
the end and aim of this expression of life, this wonderful 
expression ot life, is to become a dog. Says the Buddhst 
to the Vaishnavist, if your ideal, your aim and goal is to go 
to the place called Vaikuntha where God lives, and there 
stand before him with folded hands all through eternitv, it 
is better to commit suicide than do that. The Buddhist 
may urge that that is why he is going to create annihila- 
tion, Nirvdiiaj to escape this. I am putting these ideas 
before you as a Buddhist just for the time being, because 
novv-a-days all these Advaitic ideas are said to make you 
immoral, and I am trying to tell you how the other side 
looks. Let us see both sides boldly and bravely. We have 
seen first of zW that this cannot be proved, the idea of 
personal God creating the world ; is there any child that 
can believe this to-day ? Because a kiimbhahara creates a 
ghaia^ therefore a God created the world. If this is so, 
then your kmnbhakdra is a God also, and if any one tells 
vou that he acts without head and hands vou mav take 


him to a lunatic asylum. Has ever your God, the Creatoi 
of the world, personal God and all that, to whom you can 
cry all your life, helped you, and what help have you got ? 
is the next challenge from modern science. They will 
prove that any help you have got could have been got by 
your own exertions and better still, j^ou need not have 
spent your energy in that crying, you could have done it 
better without that weeping and crying at all. And we 
have seen that along with this idea of a Personal God 
comes tyranny and priestcraft. Tyranny and priestcraft 
have been everywhere where this idea existed, and 
until the lie is knocked on the haed, say the Buddhists, 
tyranny will not cease. So long as man thinks he has 
to cower before another strong being, there will be priests 
to claim rights and privileges and to make men cower 
before them, these poor men will continue to ask a priest 
to stand as interceders for them. You may knock the 
Brahmin on the head, but mark me that those who do so 
will stand in their place, and will be worse, because these 
have a certain amount of generosity in them, and these 
upstarts are the worst of tyrannisers always. If a beggar 
gets wealth, he thinks the whole world is a bit of straw. 
So these priests there will be, so long as this personal God 
idea will be, and it will be impossible to think of any 
great morahty in society. Priestcraft and tyranny will 
go hand in hand, and why was it invented ? Because some 
strong men in old times got people in their hands and 
said you must obey us or we will destroy you. That was 
the long and short of it — Sabhayam vajramudyatam. 

It is the idea of the thunderer, who kills every one who 
does not obev him, and so on. Next the Buddhist savs 
you have been so rational up to this that you say that 
everything is the result of thelawof Aa/wa. You all believe 
in an infinity of souls, and that souls are without birth or 



death, and this infinity of soiris and the belief in the law of 
karma, is perfect logic no doubt. There cannot be a cause 
without an efifect, the present must have had its cause in 
the past, and will have its effect in the future. The Hindu 
says the karma is jada and not chaitanya, therefore some 
chaitanya is necessary to bring this cause to fruition. Is 
it that chaitanya is necessary to bring the plant to frui- 
tion ? If I add water and plant the seed, no chaitanya is 
necessary. You may say there was some original chaitan- 
ya, but the souls themselves were the chaitanya, none else 
is necessary. If human souls have it too, what necessity 
is there for a God, as the Jains say, who believe in souls, 
unlike the Buddhists, and do not believe in God. * Where 
are you logical, where are you moral ? And when you try 
to criticise that Advaitism -will make for immorality, just 
read a little of what has been done in India by Dualistic 
sects, and what ha« been brought before law courts. If 
there have been twenty thousand Advaitist blackguards, 
there will be twenty thousand Dvaitist blackguards, 
Generally speaking, there will be more Dvaitist black- 
guards, because it takes a better type of mind to understand 
it [Advaitism], and they can scarcely be frightened into 
anj^hing. What stands for you then ? There is no help 
out of the clutches of the Buddhist. You may quote the 
Vedas, but he does not believe in them. He will say, 
*' my Tripitakas say no, and they are without beginning 
or end, not even written by Buddha, for Buddha says he 
is only reciting them ; they are eternal," And he adds 
that yours are wrong, ours are the true Vedas, yours are 
manufactured by the Brahmin priests, out with them. 
How do you escape ? 
f'sLdk^^ Here is the way to get out. Take up the first objec- 

riitcisid. tion, the metaphysical one, that substance and qualities 
are different. Says the Advaitist they are not. There is 


no difference between substance and qualities. You know 
the old illustration, how the rope is taken for the snake, 
and when you see the snake you do not see the rope at all, 
the rope has vanished. Dividing the thing into substance 
and quality is a metaphysical something in the brains of 
philsophers, never can there be an effect outside. You see 
substance if you are an ordinary man, and qualities if you 
are a great yogi, but you never see both at the same time. 
So Buddhists, your quarrel about substance and qualities 
has been but a miscalculation which does not stand in fact. 
But, if the substance is unqualified, there can only be one. 
If you take qualities off from the soul, and show that these 
qualities are in the mind, really superimposed on the soul, 
then there can never be two souls, for it is qualification 
that makes the difference between one soul and another. 
How do you know that one soul is different from the 
other ? Owing to certain differentiating marks, certain 
qualities. And where quahties do not exist how can there 
be differentiation ? Therefore there are not twa souls, 
there is but one, and your Paramatman is unnecessitry, it 
is this very soul. That one is called Paramatmany that 
very one is called jivdttnan, and so on, and you Dualists, 
such as Sankhya and others, who say tliat the soul is- 
omnipresent, vibhuy how can there be two infinites ? 
There can be only one. What else ? Tliis one is the one 
infinite ^//wa;z, everything else is its manifestation. There 
the Buddhist stops, but there it does not end. The 
Advaitist position is not like weak positions, only one of 
criticism. The advaitist criticises others when they come 
too near him, just throws them away, that is all, but he 
propounds his own position. He is the only one that 
criticises, and does not stop with criticism and showing 
books. Here you are. You say the universe is a thing of 
continuous motion. In vyashti every ttocv^ \s \xiw\w^^ ^^xi^ 


are moving, the table is moving, motion everywhere, 
samscira ; continuous motion, it isjagat. Therefore there 
cannot be an individuality in this jagai^ because individua- 
lity, means that which does not change, there cannot be 
any changeful individuality, it is a contradiction in terms. 
There is no such a thing as individuality in this little world 
of ours, the jagat. Thought and feeling, mind and body 
beasts and animals and so on, are in a continuous state of 
flux. But suppose you take the universe as a unit whole ; 
can it change or move ? Certainly not. Motion is possi- 
ble in comparison with something which is a little less in 
motion, or entirely motionless. The universe as a whole, 
therefore, is motionle^^s, unchangeable. You are, therefore, 
an individual then and then alone, when you are the whole 
of it, when *' I am the universe." That is why the Vedan- 
tist says that so long as there are two, fear does not cease. 
It is only when one does not see another, does not feel 
another, it is only one, then alone death ceases, then alone 
death vanishes, then alone samsdra vanishes, Advaita 
teaches us therefore that man is individual in being uni- 
versal, and in not being particular. You are immortal only 
when you are the whole. You are fearless and deathless 
when you are the universe, and then that which you calt 
the universe is the same that you call God, tlie same that 
you are existent, the same that you are the whole. It is 
the one undivided existence which is taken to be as we see 
it by people having the same state of mind as we have,, 
looking upon this universe as we see it, suns, and moons, 
and so on. People who have done a little better karmay 
and get another state of mind, when they die look upon it 
as svargaj and see Indras and so forth. People still higher 
will see it, the very same thing as Brahma Loka, and the 
perfect ones will neither see the earth nor the heavens, 
nor any loka at all. This universe will have vanished, and 


Brahman will be in its stead. 

Can we know this Brahman ? I have told you of the 
[minting of the infinite in the Samhita. Here we shall find YJowuLif 
another side taken, the infinite internal. That w-as the infi- 
nite of the muscles. Here we shall have the infinite of 
thought. There the infinite was attempted to be painted 
in language positive ; here that language failed, and the at- 
tempt has been to paint it in language negative. Here is 
this universe, and even admitting that it is Brahman, can 
we know it ? No ! No ! You must understand this one 
thing again very clearly. Again and again this doubt will 
come to you, if this is Brahman, how can w^e know it ? 
VipiHtdramare kena vijdniydL " B)'^ what, O Maitreyi, the 
knower can be known ; how can the knower be known ?" 
The ej'^es see everything ; can they see themselves ? They 
cannot, because the very fact of knowledge is a degradation. 
Children of Aryas, you must remember this, for herein lies 
a big story. All the Western temptations that come to 
you have their metaphysical basis on that one thing, there 
is nothing higher than sense-knowledge. In the East, we 
say in our Vedas that this knowledge is lower than the 
thing itself, because it is always a limitation. When you 
want to know a thing, it immediately becomes limited by 
your mind. They say, refer back to that instance of the 
oyster making pearls and see how knowledge is limitation, 
gathering a thing, bringing it into consciousness, and not 
knowing it as a whole. This is true about{all knowledge, 
and can you do that to the infinite ? Can you do that to 
Him who is the substance of all knowledge. Him who is 
the Sdkshiy the witness, without which you cannot have How can u 
any knowledge, Him w^ho has no quahties, who is the wit- ^^^^^ ^^ 

known » 

ncss of the w-hole universe, the witness in our own souls ? 
How can you know Him ? By what means can you bind 
Him up ? Everything, the whole universe, k ^\xc,\v -^ ^?sJis^ 



attempt. As it were this infinite Alman is trying to seep 
his own face, and all the animals, from the lowest to the 1^ 
highest of gods, are like so many mirrors to reflect himself p 
in, and he is taking up others, finding them insufficient, 
and so on, until in the human body he gets to know it is 
finite of the finite, all is finite, there cannot be any expres- 
sion of the infinite in the finite. Then comes the retro- 
grade march, and this is what is called renunciation, 
vairdgya. Back from the senses, back, do not go to the 
senses, is the watchword of vairdgya .This is the watch- 
word of all morality, this is the watchword of all w^ell-being, 
for you must remember that the universe begins in tapasyaj 
in renunciation ; and as you go back and back, all the 
forms are being manifested before j^ou, and they are left 
aside one after the other until you remam what you really 
are. This is mokska, or liberation. 

This idea we have to understand. — Vtptdldram kena 
vijdniydt. " How to know the knower ;" the knower 
cannot be known, because if it were known it will not be 
the knower. If you look at your eyes in a reflecting minor 
the reflection is no more your eyes, but something else, 
only a reflection. Then if this Soul, this universal, infinite 
being which you are, is only a witness, what good is it ? 
It cannot live, and move about, and enjoy the world, as 
we do. People cannot understand how the witness can 
enjoy. *' Oh you Hindus have become quiescent, and good 
for nothing, through such a doctrine that you are witness- 
es.'' First of all, it is only the witness that can enjoy. 
If there is a kusli, who enjoys it, those who are plajring, 
or those who are looking on outside ? The more and more 
you are the witness of anything in life, the more you enjoy 
it. And this is dna?idam, and therefore infinite bliss can 
only be when you have become the witness of this universe, 
then alone you are a mukla. It is the witness alone that 


can work without any desire, without any idea of going 
to heaven, without any idea of blame, without any idea of 
praise. The witness alone enjoys, and none else. 

Coming to the moral aspect, there is one thing between 
the metaphysical and the moral aspect of Advaitism ; it is Advaita 
the theory mdyd. Everyone of these points in the Advaita 
system requires years to understand and months to tell. 
Therefore you will excuse me if I only just touch them 
en passant. This theory of mdya has been the most diffi- j/^^^ 
cult thing to understand in all ages. Let me tell you in a 
few words that it is surely no theory, it is the combination 
of the three ideas Deka-kdla-nimitta — Time, space, land 
causation — and which time and space and cause have been 
futher reduced into ndma rUpa. Suppose there is aj^wave 
in the ocean. The wave is distinct from the ocean only in 
its form and name, and these form and name cannot have 
any separate existence from the wave ; they exist only 
with the wave. The wave may subside, but the same 
amount of water remains, even if the name and form that 
were on the wave vanish for ever. So this vidyd is what 
makes the difiference between me and you, between all 
animals and man, between gods and men. In fact, it is 
this mdyd that causes the Atman to be caught, as it were, 
in so many millions of befngs, and this is only name and 
form. If you leave it alone, let name and form go, it 
vanishes for ever, and you are what you really are. This 
is mdyd. It is again no theory, but a statement of facts. 
Just as the realist states that this world exists ; what he 
means, the ignorant man, the realist, children and so forth, 
is that this table has an independent existence of its own, 
that it does not depend on the existence of anything else 
in the universe, and if this whole universe be destroyed 
and annihilated this table will remain as it is just now. A 
little knowledge shows you that cannot be. Everything 


'. Extra- 
.osmk God 

. Cosmic 

xene&s of 

here in the sense world is dependent and inter-dependent, 
relative and co-relative, the existence of one depending oa 
the other. There are three steps, therefore in our know- 
ledge of things ; the first is that each thing is individual, 
and separate from every other ; and the next step is to find 
that there is a relation and co-relation between all things ; 
and the next is that there is only one thing which we see 
as many. The first idea of God of the ignorant is that this 
God is somewhere outside of the universe, that is to say, 
the conception of God is extremely human ; just he does 
what a man does, only on a bigger scale. And w^e have 
j^en how that God is proved in a few words to be un- 
reasonable and insufficient. And the next idea is the idea 
of a power we see manifested everywhere. This is the 
real personal God we get in the Chandi, but, mark me, not 
a God that you make the reservoir of all good quahties 
only. You cannot have two Gods, God and Satan; you must 
have only one, and dare to call Him good and bad, but 
have only one, and take the logical consequences. 

'^ Thus we salute Thee, Oh Goddess, who lives in every 
being as peace ; who lives in all beings as purity." At the 
same time we must take the whole consequence of it. "All 
this bliss, oh Gargi, wherever there is bliss there is a por- 
tion of Thee." You may use it how you hke. In this light 
before me you may try to give a poor man a hundred 
rupees, and another man will forge your name, but the 
light will be the same for both. This is the second stage; 
and the third is that the God is neither outside nature nor 
inside nature, but God and nature and soul and universe 
are all convertible terms. You never see two things ; it 
is your metaphysical words that have deluded you. You 
assume that you are a body and have a soul, and that you 
are both together. How can that be ? Try in your own 
mind. If there is a yogi among you, he thinks he himself 


is chaitanya, the body has vanished. If ordinary man, 
he thinks of himself as a body ; the idea of spirit has 
vanished ; but because the metaphysical ideas exist that 
man has a body and a soul and all these things, you think 
they are all simultaneously there. Onething at a time. Do 
not talk of God when you see matter ; you see the effect 
and the effect alone, and the cause you cannot see, and 
the moment you can see the cause the effect will have 
vanished. Where is this world, and who has taken it off ? 
" One that is formless and limitless, beyond all com- 
pare, beyond all qualities. Oh sage, oh learned man, such a 
Brahman will shine in your heart in samadhi " 

" Where all the changes of nature cease for ever, 
thought beyond all thoughts, whom the Vedas declare, who 
is the essence in what we call our existence, such a Brahman 
will manifest himself in you in samadhi " 

" Beyond all birth and death, the Infinite one, incom- 
parable, like the whole universe deluged in water in mahd" 
pralayUf water above, water beneath, water on all sides, 
and on the face of that water not a wave, not a ripple, 
silent and calm, all visions have died out, all fights and 
quarrels and the war of fools and saints have ceased for 
ever ; such a Brahman will shine in your hearts in samadhu' 
That also comes, and when that comes the world has vani- 

We have seen this, that this Brahman, this reality is 

unknown and unknowable, not in the sense of the agnostic, 
but because to know him would be a blasphemy, because 
you are it already. We have also seen that this Brahmaa is 
not this table and yet this table. Take off the name and 
form, and whatever is reality is He. He is the reality in 

'^ Thou art in the woman, thou the man, thou the young 
man walking in flie pride of youth, thou the old man 


tottering on his stick, thou art all in all, in every thing, and 

I am thee, I am thee." That is the theme of Advaitism. A 

^ptars ^^^ words more. Herein lies, we find, the explanation of 

"^y , the essence of things. We have seen how here alone we 

rough ° 

"aya. Can take a firm stand against all the onrush of logic and 

scientific knowledge and so forth. Here at last reason has 
a firm foundation, and, at the same time, the Indian 
Vedantist does not curse the preceding steps ; he looks back 
and he blesses them, and he knows that they were true, 
only wrongly perceived, and wrongly stated. They were 
the same things, only seen through the glass of mdydf 
distorted, it may be, yet truth, and nothing but truth. 
The same God whom the ignorant man saw outside nature, 
the same whom the little-knoWing man saw was inter- 
penetrating the universe, and the same whom the* sage 
realises as his own self, and the whole universe itself, all 
are the one and the same being, the same entity seen from 
different standpoints of view, seen through different glasses 
of nt&ydy perceived by different minds, and all the differ- 
ence was caused by that. Not only so, but one must lead 
to the other. What is the diflference between science and 
common knowledge ? Go out into one of these streets, and 
if something is happening, there ask one of the gonwars 
(boors) there. It is ten to one that he will tell you it is 
a ghost causing the phenomenon. He is always going 
after ghosts and spirits outside, because it is the nature of 
ignorance to seek for causes outside of effects. If a stone 
falls it has been thrown by a devil or a ghost, says the 
ignorant man, and the scientific man says it is the law of 

dvaiHsm nature, the law of gravitation. 

UgioH^ What is the fight between science and religion every- 

where ? Religions are encumbered with such a mass of 
explanations which are outside — one angel is in charge 

of the sun, another of the moon, and so on ad mftnitumj 



and every change is caused by a ghost; the one common 
thing of which is that they are all outside the thing ; and 
science means that the cause of a thing is sought out by 
the nature of the thing itself. As bit by bit science is 
progressing, it has taken this explanation out of the hands 
of ghosts and demons, and therefore Advaitism is the most 
scientific religion. This universe has not been created by 
any outside God, nor is it the work of any outside genius, 
self-created, selt-dissolved, self-manifesting, one infinite 
existence, the Brahman, Tat twamasi, — O Svetaketu, "Thou 
that art." Thus you see that this, and this alone, none 
else, can be the only scientific religion, and with all the 
prattle about science that is going on daily at the present 
time in modern half-educated India, with all the talk about 
rationalism and reason that I hear every day, I expect that 
whole sects of you will come over and dare to be Advaitists^ 
and dare to preach it to the world in the words of Buddha, 
" for the good of many, for the happiness of many. " If 
you do not I take you for cowards . If your cowardice has 
existence, if your fear is your excuse, allow the same 
liberty unto others, do not try to break up the poor idol- 
worshipper, do not try to call him a devil, do not go about 
preaching unto every man that does not agree entirely with 
you ; know first that you are cowards yourselves, and if 
society frightens you, if your own superstitions of the past 
fnghten you so much, how much more will these super- 
stitions frighten them and bind them down who are igno* 
rant. That is the Advaitist position. Have mercy on 
others. Would to God that the whole world were Advait- 
ists to-morrow, not only in theory, but in realisation ; but 
if that cannot be, let us do the next best thing, take them all 
by the hands, lead them always step by step just as they 
can go, and know that every step in all religious growth in 
India has been progressive. It is not Irom bad to good. 


but from good to better. 

Something more has to be told about the moral 
dvatta relation. Our boys blithely talk now-a-days, they learn 

one gtves ^ -' j ^ j 

e true from somcbody — Lord knows from whom — that Advaitists 
oraiity. will make people all immoral, because if we are all one 
and all God, we need not be moral at all. lu the first 
place, that is the argument of the brute, who can only be 
kept down by the whip. If you are such a brute commit 
suicide first, rather than be such human beings, if they are 
to be kept down by the whip. If the whip goes away 
you will all be demons 1 You ought all to be just killed 
here if such is the case ; there is no help for you ; you 
must always be living under this whip and rod, and there 
is no salvation, no escape for you. In the second place 
this and this alone explains morality. Every religion 
preaches that the essence of all morality is ta do good 
unto others. And why ? Be unselfish. And why ? Some 
god has said it. He is not for me. Some texts have told 
it. Let them all tell it ; that is nothing to me ; let them 
all tell it. And if they do, what is it ? Each one for him- 
self, and somebody for the hindermost, that is all the 
morality in the world, at least with many. What is the 
reason why I should be moral ? You cannot explain it 
except when you come to know. 

" He who sees everyone in himself, and himself in 
everyone, thus seeing the same God living in all in the 
same manner, the sage no more kills the self by tlie self." 
Know through Advaita that whomever you hurt you. hurt 
yourself ; they are all you. Whether you know it or not, 
through all hands you work, through all feet you move, 
you are the king enjoying in the palace, you are the beggar 
leading that miserable existence in the street, you are in 
the ignorant as well as in the learned, you are in the man 
who is weak, and you are in the strong ; know this and 

be sympathetic. And that is why we must not hurt 
others. That is even why I da not care whether I have 
got to starve, because there will be millions of mouths 
eating at the same time^. and tl>ey are all mine.. There- 
fore 1 should not care what becomes of me and mine, for 
the whole universe is mine, I am enjoying all the bliss at 
the same time ;, and who caakillme, and the universe ? 
Herein Advaita alone is morality. The others teach it,, 
but cannot give you. its reas(Hi. Then so* far^ about, 

Wliat is die gain ? This is to be heard first. — S^ro- 
tavyo manlavya nididhydsiiavyah. Take off that veil of Advaita ii 


hypnotism which you have cast upon the world, send not giving, 
out thoughts' and words of weakness unto humanity- 
Know that all sins and all evils can be summed up into 
that one word weakness. It is weakness that is the 
motive power in all evil doing; it is weakness that is the 
motive power in all wrong acts ; it is w^eakness that makes 
men dx> what they ought not to do ; it is weakness that 
makes them manifest as they are- not really.. Let them all 
know what they are ; let them- tell it day and night what 
they are. Soham — Let them suck it with their mothers,, 
milk,, this idea of strength — I am He, I am* He. And 
then let tliem think of it, and out of that thought,, out of 
that heart will proceed* works such as the world has never 
seen. What has to be done ? Aye, this Advaitism is said 
by some to be impracticable-; that is to say, it is not yet 
manifesting itself on the matei'ial plane. To a certain 
extent it is true,, for,, remember the saying of the Vedas — 
Omifvekdksharam Brahma OmityekdksJiaram param 
'^Om, this is the great secret ; Om, this is the greatest 
possession; he who knows the secret of this Om, what- 
ever he desires that he gets." Aye, therefore first know* 
the secret of this Om, that you are the Om ; know the 



asks you 
helin'e in 

'his is the 
cret of 

' ivaUa 
own to the 

secret of this Tattwam asi, and then and then alone, what- 
ever you want shall come to you. If 5'ou want to be ^eat 
materially, believe that you are so. I may be a little bubble, 
and you ma}^ be a v/ave mountain-high, but know that for 
both of us the infinite ocean is the back-ground, the infinite 
God is our magazine of power and strength, and we can 
draw as much as we like, both of us, the bubble and you 
the mountain-high wave. Believe therefore in 5'ourselves. 
The secret of Advaita is — Believe in yourselves first, and 
then believe in anything else. In the history of the world, 
vou w'ill find that onlv those nations that have believed in 
themselves have become great and strong. In the history 
of each nation, vou will alwavs find that individuals that 
have believed in themselves have become great and strong. 
Here, in this India, came an Englishman, who w^as only a 
clerk, and for want of funds and other reasons he tried to 
blow his brains out twice, and when he failed he believed 
in himself that he was born to do great things, and that 
man became Lord Clive, the founder of the Empire. If 
he had believed the padres and gone crawling all his life— 
'* Oh Lord I am weak, and I am low " — where would he 
hjive been ? In a lunatic asvlum. Thev have made lunatics 
of vou wath these evil teachini;^s. I have seen all the world 
over the bad effects of these weak teachings of humility, 
destroying the human race. Our children are brought up 
in this w^ay, and is it a wonder that they become semi- 
lunatics as they are ? 

This is on the practical side. Believe, therefore, in 
3^ourselves, and if you want material wealth work it out ; 
it will come to you. If you want to be intellectual let it 
work out on the intellectual plane, and intellectual giants 
you shall be. And it you want to attain to freedom let it 
work out on the spiritual plane, and Gods y^ou shall be. 
*' Enter into N'lrvduaj the blissful." The defect was here ; 



so long the Advaita has only been worked out on the spiri- 
tual plane, and that was all ; now the time has come when 
you have to make it practical. It shall no more be a 
Rahasya, a secret, it shall no more live with monks in caves 
and forests, and in the Himalayas ; it must come down to 
the daily, everyday life of the people ; it shall be worked 
out in the palace ot the king, in the cave of the recluse, it 
shall be worked out in the cottage of the poor, by the beggar 
in the street, everywhere, anywhere it can be worked out. 
For is not the Gita with us — Svalpamapyasya dharmasya 
irdyate viahato bhaydt ? Therefore do not fear whether 
you are a woman or a Sudra, or anything, for this religion 
is so great, says Lord Krishna, that even the least done 
brings a great amount of good. Therefore, children o[ the 
Aryans, do not sit idle, awake and arise, and stop not till 
the goal is reached. The time has t.ome when this Ad- ^vr^^i it 

vaita is to be worked out practically. Let us brins: it P^<f(^i^^a^b'' 

111* ^"^ ^ ^"^ 

down from heaven unto the earth ; this is the present new Dispen 

dispensation. Aye, the voices of our forefathers of old ^^^^^^ 
are telling us to stop — stop there, my children. Let your 
teachings come down lower and lower until they have 
permeated the world, till they have entered into every 
pore of society, till they have become the common property 
of everybody, till they have become part and parcel of our 
lives, till they have entered into our veins and tingle with 
every drop of blood there. Aye, you may be astonished 
to hear, but as practical Vedantists the Europeans, are &praaka/ 
better than we are. I used to stand on the sea-side of ^^^^^^^^^^ 
New York, and look at the emigrants coming from differ- 
ent countries, crushed, down-trodden, hopeless, with a 
little bundle of clothes all their possession, their clothes all 
in rags, unable to look a man in the tace ; if they saw a 
policeman they were afraid and tried to get to the other 
side of the footpath. And, mark you, in six months those 


"srei}' men were walking erect, well clothed, looking every- 
body in the face ; and w4iat makes this w^onderful differ- 
ence ? Say this man comes from Armenia, or anywhere else 
where he was cruslied down beyond all recognition, where 
everybody told him he was a born slave, and born to 
remain in his low state all his life, and the least move he 
made they \\H)iild crush him out. There everything told 
him ** Slave ; you are a slave, remain there. Hopeless 
. you were born, hopeless remain." Even the very air mur- 
mured round him, " There is no hope for 5'ou, hopeless and 
a slave remain ;" where the strong man crushed the life 
out of him. And when he landed in the streets of New 
York he found a gentleman, well-dressed, shaking him by 
rjie have ^^^ hand ; it made no difference that the one was in rags 
aith in and tlie -other well clad. He went a step further and saw 
a restaurant, that there were gentlemen dining at a table, 
and he was asked to take a seat at the corner of the same 
table. He went about, and found a new life, that there was 
•a place where he was a man among men. Perhaps he went 
to Washington, shook hands with the President of the 
Unit-ed States, and perhaps there he saw men coming from 
distant villages, peasants, and ill-clad, all shaking hands 
with the President. Then the veil of mayA slipped away 
from him. He is Brahman, who has been hypnotised into 
slavery and weakness, once more awake, and he rises up 
and finds himself a man in a world of men. Aye, in this 
country of ours, the very birthplace of the Vedanta, our 
masses have been hypnotised for ages into that very state. 
To touch them is pollution ; to sit with them is pollution ! 
Hopelcbis you were born ; remain hopeless ; and the result 
is that they have been sinking, sinking, sinking, and have 
come to the last stage to which a human being can come. 
For what country is there in the world where man has to 
4?lcep with the cattle, and for this blame no body else, do 


not commit the mistake of the ignorant. The effect is 
here and the cause is here too. We are to blame. Stand 
up, be bold, and take the blame on your own shoulders. 
Do not go about throwing mud at others ; for all the faults 
you suffer you are the sole and only cause. 

Young men of Lahore, understand this, therefore, this 
:great sin, hereditary and national, is on your shoulders, nation o 
There is no hope for us. You may make thousands of J//^^^'J 
societies, twenty thousand political assemblages, fifty thou- ^^^^^' 
sand institutions. These w^ill be of no use until there is 
that sympathy, that love, that heart, that thinks for all, 
until Buddha's heart comes once more into India, until the 
words of Lord Krishna are brought to their pohtical use 
4;here is no hope for us. You go on imitating the Euro- 
peans and their societies and their assemblages, but iet me 
4;ell you a story, a fact that I saw with my own eyes. A 
-company of Burmans was taken over to London by some' 
persons here, who turned out to be Eurasians. They cxhi- 
*bited these people in London, took all the money, and then 
took these Burmans over to the Continent, and left them 
there for good or evil. These poor people did not know 
any word of any European language, but the English Consul 
in Austria sent them over to London, They were helpless 
in London, without knowing anyone. But an English lady 
got to know of them, took these foreigners from Burmah 
into her own house, gave them her own clothes, her bed, 
and everything, and then sent the news to the newspapers. 
And, mairk you, the next day the whole nation was, as it 
were, roused. Money poured in and these people were 
helped out and sent back to Burmah, On this sort of 
sympathy are based all their pohtical and other institutions ; 
it is the rock foundation of love, for themselves at least. 
They may not love the world ; they may be enemies all 
round, but in that countrj-, it goes without saying, there is 


this great love for their own people, for truth and and justice 
and charity to the stranger at the door. I would be the 
most ungrateful man if I did not always tell you how won- 
derfully and how hospitably I was received in every 
country in the West. Where is the heart here to build 
upon ? No sooner do we start a little joint-stock company 
than we cheat each other, and the whole thing comes 
down with a crash. You talk of imitating them, and 
building as big a nation as they have. But where are the 
foundations ? Ours are only sand, and therefore the build- 
ing comes down with a crash in no time. Therefore, young 
men of Lahore, raise once more that wonderful banner of 
Advaita, for on no other ground can you have that wonder- 
ful love, until you see that the same Lord is present in the 
same manner everywhere ; unfurl that banner of love. 
"Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached." 
Arise, arise once more, for nothing can be done without 
renunciation. If you want to help others, your own selt 
must go. Aye, in the words of the Christians — you cannot 
serve God and mammon at the same time. Vairdgya — your 
ancestors gave up the world for doing great things. At the 
present time there are men who give up the world to help 
their own salvation. Throw away every thing, even your 
own salvation, and go and help others. Aye, you are 
always talking bold words, but here is practical Vedanta 
before you. Give up this little hfe of yours. What matters 
if you die of starvation, you and I and thousands like us, 
so long as this nation lives. The nation is sinking, the curse 
of unnumbered millions is on our heads to whom we have 
been giving ditch-water to drink when they have been 
dying of thirst and when the perennial river of water was 
flowing past, the unnumbered millions whom we have 
allowed to starve at sight of plenty, the unnumbered mil- 
lions to whom we have talked of Advaita and hated with 


all our strength, the unnumbered millions against whom 
we have invented the doctrines of Lokdchdra, to whom we 
have talked theoretically' that all are the same, and all are 
the same Lord, without even an ounce of practice. '* Yet, 
my friends, it must only be in the mind ; never in prac- 
tice !" Aye, wipe off this blot. " Arise and awake." What 
matters it if this httle life goes ; everyone has got to die, 
the saint or the sinner, the rich or the poor. The body never 
remains for anyone. Arise and awake and be perfectly 
sincere. Our insincerity in India is awful ; what w^e want 
is character, that steadiness and character that make a man 
cling on to a thing like grim death. 

Nindantu nltinipund jand yadivd siuvanhi. 
" Let the sages blame or let them praise, let Lakahmi 
come to-day, let her go away, let death come just now, or 
in a hundred years ; he indeed is the sage who does not 
make one false step from the path of right." Arise and 
awake, for the time is passing away when all our energies 
will be frittered away in vain talking. Arise and awake, 
let minor things and quarrels over little details and fights 
over little doctrines be thrown aside, for here is the greatest 
of all works, here are the sinking millions. Mark, when 
the Mahommedans first came into India there were 60 
millions of Hindus here : to-dav there are less than 20 
millions. Every day they will become less and less till 
the whole disappear. Let them disappear, but with them 
will disappear the marvellous ideas, with all their defects 
and all their misrepresentations of which they still stand 
as representatives. And with them will disappear this 
marvellous Advaita, the crested jewel of all spiritual 
thought. Therefore, arise, awake, and with all your hands 
stretched out to protect the spirituahty of the world. And 
first of all work it out for your own country. What we 
want is not so much spirituality as a little of bringing down 


of the Advaita into the material world, first bread and then 
religion. We stuff tbem too mudi with religion, wiien the 

"^akn^ss PO^r fellows have been starving. No dogmas will satisfy 

ii hatred. ^\^^ craving of hunger. There are two curses here, fiMour 
weakness, secondly our hatred, our dried-up hearts. You 
may talk doctrines by the millions, you may have sects by 
the hundreds of millions ; aye, but it is nothing until you 
have the heart to feel, feel for them as your Veda teaches 
you, till you find they are parts ^ of your own beniies,- till 
you and they, the poor and the rich, the saint and the sin- 
ner, all are parts of one Infinite whole which' you call 

Gentlemen, thus I have tried to place before you only 
a few of the most brilliant points of the Advaita system, 
and now the time has come when it should be carried 

uaiism out iuto practice, not only in this country but everywhere. 

l-UfffJ^I Modern Science and its sledg.e liammer blows are pulveris- 

fe science, <^ ' 

ing into powder th€ porcelain foundations of all Duahstic 
religions everywhere. Not only here are the Duaiists^ tor- 
turing texts till they will extend no longer, for texts are 
not India-rubber, it is not only here that they are trymg to 
get into the nooks and cornePii to protect themselves, it 
is still more so in Europe and America. And even thera 
something of this idea will have to go from India.. It has* 
already got there. It will have to and increase,, 
and to save their ci vilisations^ too* For,, in the West,-the old- 
order of things i® vanishing, giving way to a new order of 
things, which is the worship of gold, the worship of Mam-r 
mon. Thus this old crude system of religion was betterthan. 
the modern system of religion, namely, competition an4 
gold. No nation, however strong, can- stand on such- 
foundations, and the history of the world tells us that alt 
that had similar foundations are dead and gone. la the 
first place we have to stop the in-coming of sucli a wave 


in India. Therefore preach the Advaita to every one, %o that 
rehgion may withstand the shock of modern science. Not ^f^'%^a£A 
only so, you will have to help others ; your thought will »>• 
help out Europe and America. But above all let me once 
more remind you that here is practical work, and the first 
part of that is to go down to the sinking millions of India. 
Take them by the hand, remembering the words of Lord 
Krishna : — 

" Even in this life they have conquered heaven whose 
minds are firm fixed in this sameness, for God is pure and 
the same to all ; therefore such are said to be living in 



The Swami spoke as follows : — 

This is the land which is held to be the holiest even in 
holy Aryavarta ; this is the Brahmavarta of which our great 
Manu speaks. This is the land from whence arose that the Aryans' 
mighty aspiration after the spirit, aye, which in times to 
:;ome, as history shows, was to deluge the world. This is the 
land virhere, like its mighty rivers, spiritual aspirations have 
arisen and joined their srength till they travelled over the 
length and breadth of the world, and declared themselves 
with a voice of thunder. Tliis is the land which had first to 
bear the brunt in all inroads and invasions into India; this 
heroic land had first to bare its bosom to every onslaught of 
outer barbarians into Aryavarta. This is the land which, 
after all its sufferings, has not yet entirely lost its glory and 
its strength. Here it was that in latter times the mild 
Najiak preached his marvellous love for the world. Here it 
was that his broad heart was opened, and bis arms outstret- 
ched to embrace the whole world, not only of Hindus, but 



of Mahommedans too. Here it was that one of the last 
and one of the most glorious of our race, Guru Goviad 
Singh after shedding hia blood, and that of his dearest and 
nearest, for the caut^e of religion, even when deserted by 
those for whom this blood was shed, retired into the South 
to die the wounded lion struck to the core, and without a 
word of curse on his country, without a single word of mur- 
mur, disappeared. Here in this ancient land or ours, chil' 
dren of the land of five rivers, I stand before you, not as a 
teacher — for 1 know very little to teach, but as one who 
has come from the East to exchange words of greeting 
with the brothers of the West, to compare notes. Here 
am I, not to find ont differences that exist among us, but 
to find where we agree. Here am I tr}'ing to understand 
on what ground we may always remain brothers, upon 
what foundations the voice that has spoken irom eternity 
will become stronger and stronger as it grows. Here am I 
trying to propose unto you something of constructive work 
and not destructive. For criticism the days are past, and 
we are waiting for constructive work. . The world needs, 
at times, criticisms, even fierce ones ; but that is only for a 
time and the work for eternity is progress and construc- 
tion, and not criticism and destruction. For the last hun- 
dred years or so there has been a flood of criticism all over 
this land of ours, where the tuU play of Western Science 
has been let loose upon all the dark spots, and the corners 
and the holes become much more prominent than anything 
else. Naturally enough there arose mighty intellects all 
over the land, great and glorious, with the love of truth 
and justice in their hearts ; in their hearts, after all, the 
love of their country, and above all with intense love for 
their religion and their God ; and because these mighty souls 
felt so deeply, because they loved so deeply, they criticised 
everything they thought was wrong. Glory unto these 


inighty spirits of the past ; they have done so much good ; 
but the voice of the present day is coming telling us "enough," 
there has been enough of criticism, there has been enough 
of fault finding, the time has come for the rebuilding, the 
reconstructing, the time has come for us to gather all our 
scattered forces, to concentrate them into one focus, and 
through that to land the nation on its onward march, which 
for centuries almost, has been stopped. The house has 
been cleansed ; let it be inhabited anew. The road has 
been cleared: march ahead, children of the Aryas. 

Gentlemen, this is the motive that brings me before you 
and, at the start, I may declare to you that I belong to no r^^^^^f ' ^^ 
party and no sect. They are all great and glorious to me, visa. 
I love them all, and all my life I have been attempting to 
find what is good and true in them. Therefore it is my pro- 
posal to-night to bring before you points where we are agreed , 
to find out a way, if we can, a groend of agreement ; and if 
through the grace of the Lord such a state of things be pos- 
sible let us take it up, and from theory bring it out into 
practice. We are Hindus. I do not use the word Hindu 
in any bad sense at all, nor do I agree with those that 
think there is any bad meaning to it. In old times it 
simply meant people who lived on the other side of the 
Indus, to-day a good many may have put a bad interpret- 
ation on it among those who hate us, but names are 
nothing. Upon us depends whether the name Hindu will 
stand for everything that is glorious, everything that is 
spiritual, or whether it will remain a name of opprobrium 
one designating the down-trodden, the w^orthless, the heath- 
en. If at present the word Hindu means anything bad, 
never mind, by our action let us be ready to show that 
this is the highest word that any language can invent. It 
has been one of the principles of my life not to be ashamed 
of my own ancestors. I am one of the proudest men 


ever born, but let me tell you frankly it is not for m5rself, 
but on account of my ancestry. The more I have studied 
the past, the more I have looked back, more and more ha« 
this pride come to me, and it has given me the strength 
and courage of conviction, raised me up from the dust of 
the earth, and set me working out that great plan laid out 
by those great ancestors of ours. Children of those anci- 
ent Aryans, through the grace of the Lord may you have 
tlie same pride, may that faith in your ancestors come into 
your blood, may it become a part and parcel of your lives, 
may it work towards the salvation of the world. 

Gentlemen, before trying to find out the precise point 
where we are all agreed, the common ground of our national 
life, one thing- we must remember. Just as there is an indi- 
viduality in every man, so th^re is a national individuality. 
As one man differs from another in certain particulars, in 
2^ntionai Certain characteristics of his own, so one race differs from 
dndwtduaiify another in certain other characteristics, and just as it is the 
mission of every man to fulfil a certain purpose in nature, 
just as it is a particular line set out for him by his own past 
Karma, so it is with nations — each nation has a destiny to 
fulfil, each nation has a message to deliver, each nation has 
a mission to accomplish. Therefore, from the very start, we 
must have to understand the mission of our own race, the 
destiny it has to fulfil, the place it has got to occupy in the 
march of nations, the note which it has to contribute unto 
the harmony of races. In our country, when children, we 
hear stories how that some serpents have jewels in their 
heads, and whatever one may do with a serpent, so long as 
the jewel is there, the serpent cannot be killed. We hear 
stories of giants and ogres which had souls living in certain 
little birds, and so long as the bird was safe, there was no 
power on earth to kill these giants, you might hack them 
to pieces, do what you liked, the giant could not die. So 


with nations, there is a certain point where the life of a 
nation unites, where is the nationality of the nation, and 
until that is touched that nation cannot die. In the light 
of this we can understand the most marvellous phenomenon 
that the history of the world has ever known. Wave after 
wave of barbarian conquest has rolled over this devoted 
land of ours« Allah Akbar has rent the skies for hundreds 
of years, and nobody knew what moment would be his last- 
Here it was, on this land, the most suffering and the most 
subjugated of all the historic lands of the world. Yet we 
st^nd practically the same race, ready to face difficulties 
again, and not only so, of late the signs are that we are 
not only strong again, but ready to go out ; for the sign of 
life is expansion. Find we to-day that our ideas and 
thoughts are no more cooped up within the bounds of this 
India of ours, but, whether we will it or not, they are mar- 
ching outside, filtering into the literature of nations, tak- 
ing their place among nations, and in some even getting a 
commanding, dictatorial position. Behind this we find the 
explanation that the great contribution to the sum-total of 
the world's progress from India is the greatest, the noblest, 
the sublimest theme that can occupy the mind of men — it 
is philosophy and spirituality. Our ancestors tried many 
other things ; they, like all the rest, first went to bring out 
the secrets of external Nature, as we all know, and with 
their gigantic brains that marvellous race could have done 
miracles in that line of which the world yet cannot dream, 
but they gave it up for something higher, something better 
rings out from the pages of the Vedas. — ^* That science is 
the greatest which makes us know Him who never changes." 
The science of this nature, changeful, evanescent, the 
world of death, of woe, of misery, may be great, great in- 
deed ; the science of Him who changes BOt, the Blissful 
One, where alone is peace, where alone is life eternal, 



where alone is perfection, where alone all misery ceases 
according to our ancestors was the sublimest science of all 
After all, sciences that can give us only bread and clothes 
and power over our fellowmen, sdences that can only 
teach us how to conquer our fellow-beings, to rule over 
them, which teach the strong to domineer over the weak, 
they could have discovered, but praise be unto the Lord 
they caught at once the other side, grander, infinitely higher, 
infinitely more blissful, till it has become the national 
characteristic, till it has come down unto us, inherited 
from father to son for thousands of years, till it his become 
a part and parcel of us, till it tingles in every drop of 
blood that runs through our veins, till it has become our 
own second nature, till the name of religion and Hindu 
have become one. This is the national characteristic, and 
this cannot be touched. Barbarians with sword and fire, 
barbarians bringing barbarous religions, could not one of 
them touch the core, not one could touch the jewel, not 
one had the power to kill the bird which the soul of the 
race inhabited. This, therefore, is the vitality of the race, 
and so long as that remains there is no power under the 
sun that can kill the race. All the tortures or the miseries 
of the world will pass over us without hurting us, and we 
shall come out of the flames like Prahlad, so long as we 
hold on to this grandest of all our inheritances, spirituality. 
If a Hindu is not spiritual I do not call him a Hindu. In 
other countries a man may be political first, and then he 
may have a little religion, but here in India the first duty 
and the foremost of all our lives is to be spiritual first, and 
then, if you have time, let other things come. Bearing 
this in mind we shall be in a better position to imderstand 
why, for our national welfare^ as it was in days of yore, so 
it is at the present day, and so it will always be, that we 
first must seek out all the spiritual forces of the race. 


National union in India must be a gathering up of the 
scattered spiritual forces in India. A nation in India must 
be a union of those whose hearts beat the same spiritu- 
al tune. 

Gentlemen, there have been sects enough in this coun- 
try. There are sects enough, and there will be enough in sectari- 
the future, because this has been the peculiarity of our re- anismda 
ligion, that in abstract principles so much latitude has been 
given, ^hat although afterwards so much detail has been 
worked out, all these details are the working out of princi- 
ples broad as the skies above our heads, eternal as nature 
herself. Sects, therefore, as a matter of course, must exist 
here, but what need not exist is sectarian quarrel. Sects 
must be, but sectarianism need not. The world would not 
be the better for sectarianism, the world cannot move on 
without having sects. One man cannot do everything. 
The almost infinite mass of energy cannot be managed by 
a small number of people. Here at once we see the neces- 
sity that forced this division of labour upon us — the division 
into sects — for the use of the spiritual forces let sects there 
be, but is there any need that we should quarrel when our 
most ancient books declare that this differentiation is only 
apparent, that in spite of all these differences there is a 
thread of harmony, that beautiful unity, running through 
them all. Our most ancient books have declared : Ekam 
sat viprd bahndhd vadanti. "That which exists is one; 
sages call Him by various names." Therefore, if there are 
these sectarian struggles, if there are these fights among the 
different sects, if there is jealousy and hatred between the 
different sects, even in India the land where all sects 
have always been honoured, it is a shame on m who dare 
to call ourslves the descendants of those fathers. 

Gentlemen, there are certain great principles in which, 
I think, we are all one, "whether Vaishnavites, Saivites^ 


Saktas or Giinapatas, whether belonging to the 
ancient Vedantists, or the modern ones, whether belong- 

^^Ttmtitt ^°& ^^ ^^® ^1^ "g^^ sects, or the modem reform ones— 
mongstcts who SO calls himself a Hindu, I think, believes in certain 
principles. Of course there is a difference in the interpre- 
tation, in the explanation, of these principles, and that 
difference should be there, and it should be allowed, for we 
are not in a position to bind every man down to our own 
position, it would be a sin, or to force every man to work 
out our own interpretation of things, and to live by our 
own methods. Gentlemen, perhaps all who are here will 
'vlias agree on the first point, that we believe the Vedas to be 
the enternal teachings of the secrets of Religion. We all 
believe that this holy literature is without beginning and 
without end, coev'al with nature, which is without beginn- 
ing and without end, and that all our religious differences, 
all our religious struggles must end when we come ta 
touch the feet of that holy book ; we are all agreed that 
this is the last court of appeal in all our spiritual differ-^ 
ences. We may take different points of view as to what 
the Vedas are. There may be one sect which takes up 
one portion as more sacred than another, but that matters- 
little so long as we say that we are all brothers in the 
Vedas, that it is out of these venerable,, eternal, marvell- 
ous books, has come everything that we possess^ to-day,^ 
good, holy, and pure. Well, therefore, if we believe in all 
this, let this principle first of all be preadied broadcast 
throughout the length and breadth of the laud. II this be 
true, let the Vedas have that prominence which it always 
deserves, and which we all believe in ; first then the 
t. God Vedas. The second point we all believe in is^ God^ a 
creating, a preserving power of the universe, andunto* 
whom the whole univeree periodically returns> to come out 
at other periods and manifest the wonderful phenomenoa 


called the universe. We may differ as to our con- 
ception of God. One may believe in a God who is entirely 
personal, another may believe in a God who is personal 
and yet not human, and another may believe in a God 
who is entirely impersonal, and all may get their support 
from the Vedas. Still we are all believers in God ; that 
is to say, that man who does not believe in a most 
marvellous infinite power, from which everything has 
come, in which everything lives, and to whom everything 
must in the end return, cannot be called a Hindu. If that 
be so, let us try to preach that idea broadcast ag;ain over 
the length and breadth of the land. Preach whatever 
conception you have to give, there is no difference, we are 
not going to fight over it but preach God ; that is all we 
want. One idea may be better than another, but, mind 
you, not one of them is bad. One is good, another is 
better, and the other may be the best, but the word bad 
does not enter the category of our religion. Therefore 
Lord bless them all who preach the name of God in what- 
ever form they like. The more He is preached, the 
better for this race. Let our children be brought up in 
this idea, let this idea enter the homes of the poorest and 
the lowest as well as of the richest and the highest, the 
idea of the name of God. 

Gentlemen, the third idea that I will present before 
you is, that, different from all other races of the world we Etema, 
do not believe that this world was created only so many of nature 
thousand years ago, and is going to be destroyed eternally 
on a certain day. Nor do we believe that the human soul 
has been created along with this imiverse just out of 
nothing. Here is another pdnt I think we are all able to 
agree upon. We believe in nature being without beginn- 
ing and without end, only at psychological periods this 
gross material of the outer universe goes back to its finer 




state, thus to remain for a certain period^ agiain to be 
projected outside, to manifest all this infinite panorama 
we call nature, and this wave-like motion is going on even 
before time began, through eternity, and will remain for 
an infinite period of time. Next, all Hindus believe that 
man is not only a gross material body, not only that 
within this there is the finer body of the mind^ but ther« 
is something yet greater ; for the body changes, so doe^ 
the mind, but something beyond, the Alma?z — I cannot 
translate the word to you, for any translation will be 
wrong — that there is something beyond even this fine 
body which is the Alinaii of man, which has neither begin- 
ning nor end, which knows not what death is. And then 
this peculiarly different idea from all other races of men, 
that this Alman inhabits body after IxKly until there is no 
more interest for it to inhabit any bodies, and it becomes 
free,. not to be born again. I refer to that theory of 
Samsdra and that theory of eternal souls of our Sastras. 
This is another point where we all agree, whatever sect 
we may belong to. There may be differences as to the 
relation between this soul and God. According to one 
sect this soul may bs eternally different from God, accord- 
ing to others it may be a spark of that infinite fire, accord- 
ing to others it may be one with that Infinite. It does 
not matter what our interpretation is, but so long as we 
hold on to the one basical belief that the soul is infinite, 
that this soul was never created, and therefore will never 
die, that it had to pass and evolve up to various bodies, 
till it attained perfection in tlie human one — we are all 
agreed. And then comes the most differentiating, the 
grandest, and the most wonderful discovery in the realms 
of spirituality that has ever been made. Some of you, 
perhaps, have remarked it already, those of you that 
have been studying Western thouglit, that there is another 

radical difference severing at one stroke all that is 
Western from all that is Eastern. It is this, that we hold 
whether we are Saktas or Sauras, whether we are 
Vaishnavites, even whether we are Bauddhas or Jainas, we 
all hold in India that the soul is by its nature pure and 
perfect, infinite in. power and blesseJ. Only, according to soui,fmr 
the Dualist, this natural blissfulness of the soul has ^^f^?';f 

blissful 4; 

become contracted by past bad work and, through the nature 
grace of God, it is again going to open out and show its 
perfection : while according to the Monist, even this idea 
of contraction is a partial mistake, it is the veil of Mdyd 
that causes us to think the soul has lost its powers, but 
the powers are there fully manifest. Whatever the 
difference may be, we come to the central core, and there 
is at once an adamantine difference between all that is 
Western and Eastern. The Eastern is looking inward for 
all that is great and good. When we worship, we close 
our eyes and try to find God within. The Western is 
looking up outside for his God. To the Westerns their 
religious books have been inspired, while with us our . 
books have been expired, breath-like they came, the 
breath of God, out of the hearts of sages they sprang, the 
Mantra-drashtds, and so on. This is one great point to 
understand, and my friends, my brethern, let me tell you 
this is the one point we shall have to insist upon in the 
future. For I am firmly convinced, and I beg you to 
understand this one fact, no good comes out of the man 
who day and night thinks he is nobody. If a man day 
and night thinks he is miserable, low and nothing, nothing 
he becomes. If you say yea, yea I am, I am shall you be, 
and if you say I am not, think that you are not, day and 
night meditate upon the fact that you are nothing, aye, 
nothing shall you be. That is the great fact which you 
ought to remember. We are the children of the Almight)', 



we are sparks of the infinite, divine fire. How can we be 
nothings ? We are everythings, ready to do everything, we 
can do everything, and man must do everything. This 
faith in themselves was in the hearts of our ancestors, 
this faith in themselves was the motive power that pushed 
them forward and foiward in the m^ych of civilisation, 
and if there has been degeneration, if there has been 
defect, mark my words, you will find that degradation to 
have started on the day our people lost this faith in them- 
selves. Losing faith in one's self means losing faith in 
God. Do you believe in that Infinite, good Providence 
working in and through you ? If you believe that this 
omnipresent one, the Aniahkarana, is present in every 
atom, is through and through, Ota-prota, as the Sanskrit 
word goes, penetrating your body, mind and soul, how 
can you lose hearts ? I may be a little bubble of water, 
and you may be a mountain high wave ; never mind. 
The infinite ocean is the back -ground of me as well as of 
you. Mine is also thlt infinite ocean of life, of power, of 
spirituality, as well as it is yours. I am already joined, 
from my very birth, from the very fact of my life — I am 
in Yoga with that infinite life, and infinite goodness, and 
infinite power, as you are, mountain high though you may 
be. Therefore, my brethren, teach this life-saving, ennobling, 
great, grand doctrine to your children, even from their 
very birth. You need not teach them Advaitism ; teach 
them Dvaitism, or any ' ism ' you please, but we have 
seen this is a common ' ism ' all through India, this 
marvellous doctrine of the soul, the perfection of the soul, 
is believed in. As says our great philosopher Kapila, if 
purity has not been the nature of the soul, it can never 
attain purity afterwards, for in anything that was not 
perfect, even if it attained to perfection, the perfection 
w^ould go away again. If impurity is the nature of man, 

i^L man will have to remain impure^ even though he 
ay be pure for five minutes. The time will come when 
is purity will wash out, pass away, and the old natural 
ipurity have its sway once more. Therefore, say all our 
lilosophers, good is our nature, perfection is our nature 
d not imperfection> and not impurity, and remember 
at. Remember the beautiful example of the great sage 
len he was dying, asking his mind to remember all his 
:ghty deeds and all his mighty thoughts. I do not find 
at he was teaching his mind to remember all his weak- 
ss and all his follies. Follies there are, weakness there 
jst be, but remember your real nature always, that is 
e only way to cure the weakness, that is the only way 
cure the follies. 

Gentlemen, it seems that these few religious points are 
mmon among all the various sects in India, and perhaps 
future I may find that upon this common platform 
nservative or hberal religionists, old type and new type 
xy shake hands ; but, above all> there is another thing to 
member, and I am sorry we are forgetting from time to 
ne that religion means realisation in India^ and nothing o'^^^ 
ort of that. " Believe in the doctrine and you are safe>" 
n never be taught to us, for we do not believe in that ; 
»u are what you make yourselves. You are, by the grace 
God and your own exertions, what you are. Mere 
heving in certaih theories and doctrines will not help 
•u much. The mighty word that came out from the sky 
spirituality in India was Anuikuti, realisation, and ours 
3 the only books which declare again and again : *' This 
>fd is to be seen^" Bold) brave words indeed, but true 
their core, every bit of them ; every sound, every vib* 
:ion is true. ReUgion is to be reaUsed, not only heard, 
is not only that some doctrine should be learnt like a 
noU Not only is there intellectual assent; tiiat is 


tiothing ; but it must come into us. Aye, and therefore 
the greatest proof that we have of the existence of a God 
is not because our reason says so and so, but because God 
has been seen by the ancients as well as by the modems* 
We believe in the soul not only because there are good rea- 
sons to prove its existence, but, above all, because there 
have been persons in India by the thousand of yore, there 
are tens yet, and there will be thousands in the future, I 
who have and will realise, and see their own souls. And 
there is no salvation for man}until he sees God, realises his 
own soul. Therefore, above all, let us understand this, 
and the more we understand it the less we shall have of 
sectarianism in India, for it is only that man who has 
realised God and seen Him, who is religious. In him the 
knots have been cut asunder, in him alone the doubts have 
subsided ; he alone has become free from the fruits of 
action, who has seen Him who is nearest of the near and 
farthest of the far. Aye, we often mistake mere prattle 
tor religious truth, mere intellectual perorations for great 
spiritual realisation, and then comes sectarianism, then 
comes fight. If we once understand that this realisation is 
the only religion, we shall look into our own hearts and 
find how far we are towards realising the truths of religion 
then we shall understand that we ourselves are groping 
in darkness, and are leading others to grope in the 
same darkness, then we shall stop from sectarianism, quar- 
rel and fight. Ask a man who wants to start a sectarian 
fight, " Have you seen God ? Have you seen the Atman ? 
If you have not, what right have you to preach His name, 
you walking in darkness to lead me into the same darkness, 
the blind leading the blind both falling into the ditch ?" 
Therefore, take more thought before you go and find fault 
with others. Take them through the same path to reali- 
sation till they struggle to see truth in their own hearts, 


and as the broad, naked tnitli will be seen then they will 
find that wonderful blissfulness which marvellously enouc[h 
has been uttered by every seer in India^ by everyone wha 
has realised the truth. Then words of love alone will come 
out of that heart, for it has already been touched by Him 
who is the essence of Love Himself. Then and then alone 
all sectarian quarrels will cease, and then we shall be in 
a position to understand, to bring to our hearts, to em- 
brace, to intensely love the very word Hindu,, and every 
bearer thereof. Mark me, then and then alone you are a 
Hindu, when the very name sends in you a galvanic shock 
of strength, then and then alone you are a Hindu when 
every man who bears the name, from any countr5% speaking 
our language or any other language, becomes the nearest 
and the dearest to you at once. Then and then alone you> 
are a Hindu when the distress of anyone bearing that name 
comes to your heart and makes you feel as if your own son 
"were in distress. Then and then alone you are a Hindu 
vrhen you will*be ready to bear everything from them, as 
the great example I have quoted at the beginning of this 
lecture, of your great Guru Govind Singh, driven out fron^ 
this country, fighting against its oppressors, after having 
shed his own blood for the defence of the Hindu religion? 
after having seen his children in the battlefield, and 
seeing them killed — aye, this example of the great Guru^ 
not sided with, left even by those for whose sake he was 
shedding his own blood and the blood of his own nearest 
and dearest^ the wounded lion retired from the field calmly 
to die in the South, but not a word of curse left his lips against 
those who had ungratefully left him.. Mark me,, every 
one of you wnll have to be a Govind Singh, if you want to 
do good to your country. You may see thousands of defects 
\n this man, but mark the Hindu blood. Tliey are the 
first Gods you will have to wprship,^ . even if they do 


^^hf*^^ everytfcmg to hurt 3^cm ; even if e\'eryone send ont a curse, 
make ike scnd yoti out words of love. If they drive you out, retire 
''"* to die in silence like that might}' Ron, like Govhid Singh. 

Such a man is worthy the name of Hindu ; such an ideal 
ought to be before us always. All our hatchets let us bury ] 
•end otrt this grand current of love all round. Let them 
talk of India^^s regeneration as they like ; let me tell you 
as one who has been working — at least trymg to work- 
all his life, there is no regeneration for India until you be 
spiritual. Not only so, but upon it depends the welfare 
of the whole world. For I must tell you frankly that the 
very foundations of Western civilisation have been shaken 
to their base. Tlie mightiest buildings, if built upon the 
loose sand foundations of materialism, must come to grief 
one day, must totter to their destruction some day. The 
history of the world is our witness. Nation after nation 
has arisen,based its greatnessupon materialism — man was all 
matter, it declared* Aye,, in Western language, a man 
gives up the ghost, but in our language a man gives up hia 
body. The Western man is a body first, and then he hai 
a soul ; with us a man is a soul and spirit,, and he has a 
body. Therein lies a world of difference. AU such civilisa- 
tions,^ therefore, as have been basediiponsuch sand founda- 
tions as material comfort and all that,, have disappeared 
one after the other, after short lives, from" the face of the 
worid and the civilisation of India and the other nations 
that have stood at India's feet \x> listen and learn, namely, 
Japan and China,, lives even ta the present day^ and there 
are signs even of revival among them.. Tlieir lives are 
like the phcenix, a thousand times destroyed, ready ta 
spring up once nK)re glorious. But a materialistic civilsa* 
tion once dashed down, never can come up ^ that building 
once thrown down, is broken into pieces. Therefore have 
patience and wait^ tlie future is in store ion us. 





Bo not be in a hurry, do not go out to imitate anybody 
else. This is another great lesson we have to remember ; 
imitation is not civihsation. I may deck myselt* out in a 
Raja*s dress ; will that malce me a Raja ? An ass in a h'on's 
skin never makes a lion. Imitation, cowardly imitation, 
never makes for progress. At the same, it is the very sign ot 
awful degradation in a man. Aye, when a man has begun 
to hate himself, then the last blow has come. When a mivn 
has begun to be ashamed of his ancestors, the end has come. 
Here am I, one of the least of the Hindu race, yet proud of 
my. race, proud of my ancestors. I am proud to call myself 
a Hindu. I am proud that I am one of your unworthy 
servants. lam proud that I am a, countryman, of yours, 
you the descendants of the sages^ you the descendants of 
the most glorious ancestors the world ever saw. ^ . , . 
Therefore have faith in yourselves be proud of your yours^h 
ancestors, instead of being asl>amed of them. And do not 
imitate ; do not imitate. Whenever you will lie under 
the thumbs of others, you w^ill lose your own inde- 
pendence.. If you are w^orking, evea in spiritual things 
under the dictation of others, slowly you will lose all 
faculty even of thought. Bring out of your own exertions 
what you have, but do not imitate, yet take what is good 
from others. We have to learn from ethers. But as yau 
put the seed in the ground, and give it plenty of earth, 
and air, and water to feed upon, wJien the seed grows 
into the plants and into the gigantic tree, does it become 
the earth, does it become the air,, or. does it become the 
water ? It becomes the mighty plant, the mighty tree, 
after its own nature, having absorbed everything that was 
given to it. Let that be your position. We have indeed 
many things to learn from others, nay, that man who 
refuses to learn is alreadv dead. 

Declares our Manu : Adadita iamdm vidyain 



prayatnadapdr adapt antyddapi parmndharmam. " Learn 
good knowledge with service even from the man of low birth, 
and even from the Chandala, learn by serving him the 
way to salvation." Learn every thing that is good from 

comt oihers. others, but bring it in and in your own way absorb it ; do 
not become others. Do not be dragged away out of this 
Indian life ; do not for a moment think that it would be 
better for India if all the Indians were dressing, and eating 
and behaving, or anything else, like any other race. Aye, 
you know the difficulty of giving up a habit of a few 
years. Lord knows how many thousands of years are in 
your blood, this national grown up life has been flowing 
in one way. Lord knows how many thousand of years, 
and do you mean to say that that mighty stream, which 
has nearly reached the ocean, will have to go back to the 
snows of the Himalayas again ? That is impossible ! The 
struggle to do so would only break you. Therefore make way 
for the life-current of the nation. Take off the blocks 
that bar the way to the progress of this mighty river, 
cleanse its path, clear the channel, and out it will rush by 
its own natural impulse, and the nation will go on career- 
ing and progressing. 

Gentlemen, these are tlie lines which I beg to suggest 
to you for spiritual work in India. There are many other 
great problems which, for want of time, I cannot bring 
before you this night. For instance, there is the wonder- 
ful question of caste. I have been studying this question 

liing pro and co7i, all my life ; I have studied it in nearly every 

province in India. I have mixed with people of all castes 
nearly in every part of the country, and I am bewildered 
in my own mind to grasp even the very significance of it. 
The more I try to study it, the more I get bewildered. 
Still at last I find that a little glimmer of light is before 
me^ I begin to feel its significance just now. Then there 


is the other great problem about eating and drinking. 

That is a great problem indeed. It is not so useless a thing 

as we generally think, and most curious it is that I have 

come to the conclusion that the insistence which w^e 

make now is just going against what the S astras required 

of eating and drinking, that is to say, we come to grief by 

neglecting the proper purity of eating and drinking ; we 

have lost it. 

There are several other questions which I w-ant to 
bring before you, and then how in my mind these pro- 
blems can be solved, how to work out the ideas ; but un- 
fortunately the meeting could not come to order until very 
late, and it is getting very late now, so that I do not 
want to make your honourable president and yourself so 
late for your dinners. I will therefore keep my ideas 
about caste and other things for a future occasion, w-hen 
we will all try to be quieter and more orderly. 

Now gentlemen, one. word and I will finish about 
these spiritual ideas. Rehgion for long has become 
statical in India, what w^e want is to make it dynamical. 
I want it to be brought into the life of everybody. Re- ^y^^*^'^* 
ligion, as it always has been in the past, must enter the India wai 
palaces of kings as well as the homes of the poorest peasants ^ ^^^** 
in the land. Rehgion, the common inheritance, the uni- 
versal birthright of the race, must be brought free to the 
door ot everybody. Religion in India must be made as 
free and as easy of access as is God's air. And this is the 
kind of w^ork w^e have to work out in India, but not by 
getting up little sects and fighting on differences. I beg 
to suggest, let us preach where we all agree, and leave 
the differences to remedy themselves. As I have said to 
the Indian people again and again, if there is darkness in 
the room of centuries, and if we go into the room and 
begin to cry " Oh it is dark and oh it is dark," will the 

f* '■% 

a-'f failh 

crarkness go ? Bring in the light and the darkness Avill 
^ anish for ever. This is the secret of reforming men. Sug- 
^^est to them liigher things ; believe in man first. Why 
start v.ith the beh'ef that man is degraded and degener- 
ated ? I have never failed in any case in my faith in man, 
mn even at the worst. At last it was bright and has triumphed 

v/hcrever I had faith in man. Have faith in man whether 
he appears to yofl to be a very learned one or a most 
ignorant one. Have faith in man, whether he appears to 
be an angel or the very devil himself. Have faith in man 
first, and then having faith in man, believe that if there 
are delects ip him, if he makes mistakes, if he embraces 
the crudest arrd the vilest doctrines, lelieve that it is 
]iot from his real nature that it comes, but from the want 
of higher ideals. If a man goes towards what is false, it 
i- becau'ie he cannot get what is true. Therefore the only 
method of correcting what is false is by supplying him 
with what is true. Do this, and let him compare. You 
give h inr the truth, a^d there your work is done. Let 
Iwm compare-in his own mind with what heiias in already ; 
and, mark my words, if you have really given him tlie 
truth, the falseness must vanish, light must dispel darkness 
and truth will bring the good out. This is the way if you 
want to reform the country spiritu^illy, this is the way, and 
not by fighting, not even by telling them that what they 
are doing is bad. Put tlie good before them, see how 
eagerly tl>ey take it, how the Divine that never dies, thai 
is alw'uys living in the human, comes up awakened and 
stretches out Its hand Cor all that is good and all that is 

May He wlio lias been the Creator, the Preserver and 
the Protector of our race, the God of our forefathers, 
whether called by the name of Vishnu, or ^Siva, or ^akti, or 
(^r (lani'.pali, whether He is worsliipped a*^ Savihdra or as 

1 -5 '^ 

Kirvikdray whether He is \vorshipped as personal, or imper- 
sonal, may He whom our fathers knew and addressed by 
the words — Ekain sat viprd bahudhd vadantL " That one 
exists whom the sages call by various names" — may He 
enter into us with His mighty love, may He shower His 
blessings on us, may He make us understand each other, 
may He make us work for each other wuth real love, with 
intenf?e love for truths and may not the least desire for our 

9wn personal fame, our own personal prestige, our owm 
|:>eT^'onal advantage, enter into this great work of spiritual 

regeneration of India, 

• ;■»« mfsi-*- 



In order to assist readers of this book, more particu- 
larly in the West, a glossary of Sanskrit terminology used 

in the various lectures, and other unfamiliar words and 

names, is here appended : — 

Abh'ih : Fearless. 

Adhikara : Right to observe or study a teaching. 

Advaita : Destitute of duality ; the Indian Monist Philoso- 

Ahankara : The internal organ of egoity. 

Aka'maka'mi : Free from the desire of wealth, fame &c- 

Allopanishad : One of the 108 Upanishads, but believed 
to be of modern creation, and not genuine. 

Anima : The Yogic power of becoming as small as an atom. 

Anu : Atom 

Avata'r : An incarnation of God. 

Avidya': Ignorance, and illusion, the veil which hides 
from us the truth. 

AvRiJiNA : Sinless. 

Antahkaranam : The internal -organ of perception. 

Atharvana Veda Samhita : A collection of Vedic 
hymns and incantations. 

A'cha'ra: Custom, practice, usage. 

A'ha'rasuddhi : The purity of food. 

Arundhati : The wife of Vasistha. The star of this name 
is so small and so dimly visible to the naked eye 
that it is generally pointed out by attention being 
first drawn to an adjacent star of the first magni- 
tude. This process in Sanskrit Logic is known as 
the Arundltati Darsana-Nyaya, 

Arya* Varta : The sacred land of the Aryas, 


Aranyakas : Those that pertain to the Forest. That 
portion of the Vedas known as the Upanishads 
which are the productions of Rishis who dwelt in 

A'SRAYA : Refuge ; here one from whom the food conies 

AsTiKYA : Belief in the existence of God and of the other 

A'tman : The supreme soul, Vedantists say that to postu- 
late anything of Brahman is impossible. The word 
Atman is therefore used in discussing the Philosophy. 

AVarana: The veil of maya which hides the reality of the 

Bhagavad Gita : The Song Celestial. 

Bhakti : Devotion, love; Bhakti Yoga is the method of 
obtaining union with God through devotion. 

Bhartri Hari : A Northern Indian king said to have 
been the brother of King Vikramaditya who lived in 
the first century B. C He is the well-known author 
of 300 moral, political and religious maxims or 

Bha^gavata : One of the principal Puranas especially 

dedicated to the glorification of Vishnu. 
Bh^arata : India, so called from its king Bharata, son of 

Bha^shya : Commentary. 

BodhaWana : An ancient Vedantic Commentator, men- 
tioned by Ramanuja, and probably the foundation of 
the latter's teaching. 

Brahman : The goal of Vedantists : The Infinite God, 
who is one without a second, the supreme all-pervad- 
ing Spirit and Soul of the Universe, the Self-existent, 
the Absolute, the Eternal. 

Brahmin : One who has divine knowledge ; the first of 
the four original divisions of the Hindu body- 


feRAHMCHA*Ri : One who remains with his spiritual teachei* 
studying the Veda and of serving the duties of a stu- 
Bkahmavarta : The place of the earliest Aryan settlement; 
the country between the Sarasvati and the Drishadvati. 
BuDDHi : The internal organ of intelligence. 
Chandi : The goddess Durga in one of her furious forms. 

It is also the name of one of the Puranas about her. 
Chaitanya : A modern Vaishnava teacher, who is regard- 
ed in Bengal as an Avatara of Sri Krishna. He was 
born about 1484 A.D. Also the Atman. 
Chitta : The mind-stuff; the ma/kr6 in vibration or the 

psychological manas. 
Chittasuddhi : Purity of mind- 
Da'du : A Northern Indian Religious teacher. 
Da^nam : Gift. 

Dars^anas : Indian systems of philosophy and religion. 
Desa-kala Nimitta: Time space and causation. 
Dosha : Faults. 
GadVdhar : One of the greatest logicians of Nuddea; 

Ganapati : The * Lord of the troops.' The name of the 
God of wisdom and of obstacles, son of Siva and 
Ganapatyas: Tantrik worshippers of Ganapati. 
GoviNDA Singh : The last of the ten Sikh Gurus who 
converted the meek Sikhs (Sishyas) into the martial 
Singhs (Simhas). 
Gna'na Ka^nda : The esoteric portion of the Vedas, which 
relates to true spiritual knowledge or the knowledge 
of the Supreme Spirit as distinguished from the know- 
ledge of ceremonies. 
Gna^na : One who has realised supreme knowledge. 
Gopi : A cowherdess of BrindaVana, a companion of Sri- 
Krishna^s juvenile sports 



OoNWARS : One of the boorish hill tribes of India. 
Gopi-Janavallbha : The beloved of the shepherdesses. 
Grihasta : A householder. 

Grihya Sutras : Vedic Sutras regulating the duties of a 

Guru : A spiritual preceptor : one who transmits. 
Guru-Bhais : Disciples of the same Guru. (Bhai= 

GuNAS : The three materialistic qualities of Prakriti. 
Guru-Deva: Saintly Guru. 

Hanuman : Rama's devoted attendant. Hanuman is 
worshipped in the form of a monkey as typical of 
perfect Devotion and Service. 

Indra : The God who, in Vedic mythology, reigns over 
the deities of the intermediate region, or atmosphere. 

ISHTAM : Each individual's chosen, or Personal Ideal. 

Jada : Gross ; dull ; non-luminous. 

Jagat : The phenomenal universe (= motion). 

Jagadis: One of the greatest logicians of Nuddea. 

Jains : A religious sect in India who are an outcome of 
the teaching's of the Vedas. Some of their chief 
notions are the supremacy of certain Jinas, or Saints 
over the Gods of the Hindus, a denial of the divine 
authority of the Vedas, and a disregard for the dis- 
tinctions of caste. 

Janaka : The King of Videha, and one famous for his 
spiritual perfection. 

Ja'ti (Dosha) : The fault arising from the nature of any 

particulur class of food : Also species. 
J'lVA : The individual soul, appearing as separate from 

other jivas. 

J'iv'atman: As distinguished from the Paramatman, or 
Supreme Soul The personal soul incorporated in 

the body, and imparting to it its life, motion, ^tid 

J^iVANMUKTAS : Men who have realised in life the highest 
truth, but who, either voluntarily remain here to 
work for others, or whose bodies are completing 
their natural term of life. Being purified by know- 
ledge of Brahman these have no future births, and 
are exonerated, while living, from all rituals and 

Kabir : A North Indian religious teacher. 

Ka^lid^asa : The greatest of Indian poets and dramatists 
author of the Sakuntala, Megha-duta, and other 
poems. He is supposed to have flourished in the 
first century before the Christian era. 

Kamandalu : A water pot used by ascetics and religious 

Kapila: The founder of the Sankhya Psychology; the 
father of Indian Philosophy. 

Karma : The eff^ect of work. The tendencies with which 
a man is born are said to be the eff^ect of his action 
in past births. 

Karma K'anda : The work; or ceremonial part, of the 

Katha Upanishad : One of the most beautiful of the 
eleven principal Upanishads recognised as such by 
Sankara and Ramanuja : the subject of Sir Edwin 
Arnold's poem, ** The secret of death." 

Krishna : The highest Avatar of the Hindus. 

KsHATR^iYA ; The second, or warrior caste. 

KsHANiKA : Momentary. 

KsHETRiKA : The peasant, irrigator of a field. 

KuBERA : The personification of wealth in old Vedic 

KuPAGURU : Hereditary guru: an idea which holds in 


some particular districts of India 

KuMBHAKAiM : Potter. 

KusTi : Wrestling. 

Laghima: The Yogic power of becoming expressively 
light at will. 

Lingham: The Phallic symbol 

LoKA : World. 

Lokacharya : A follower of the atheistic doctrines of the 

Maitreyi : The sage-wife of Yajnavalkya. 

Mahatva : Glory. 

Madhvacharyar : The great Southern teacher of Du- 

M'adhav'ach'arya : Otherwise known as Sayana, the 
great commentator on the Vedas. 

Mah^abhUrata : ** The fifth Veda'' ; a religious epic deal- 
ing with the great BhaVata war, and of which the 
Bhagavad Git^a forms an episode. 

Mah'abh^ashya : The greatest commentary of Patanjali 
on the grammatical su^tras of Panini. 

Mah'a Bodhi Tree: The Banyan Tree at Buddha Gaya, 
so called because under its shade Gautama Buddha is 
said to have attained " The great intelligence of a 
Buddha," or freedom. 

Mahimna'stotra : A semi-beautiful hymn to the glory 
of Siva. 

Manas : The cosmic mind. 
Mantra Drasht'a : A seer of truth. 
Manu : The great law-giver of the Hindus. 
Math : A monastery. 

Ma'y'a : The universe as seen through ignorance: a state- 
ment of the fact of the universe. 
Ma'y^ava'da : The doctrine of m'aya\ 
Mlechcha : A generic term for all non-aryans. 


MuKTi: Freedom; final beatitude: the delivery of the 

soul from the body, and exemption from further 

Nabayeth : Be fearless. 
Nachiketa : The hero of the Katha Upanishad, and other 

Vedic writings. 
Nahusha: a character in the Mahabharata, typical of 

the downfall of pride. He took possession of Indra^s 

throne in heaven for a time, but was afterwards 

deposed and changed into a serpent. 
Na'nak : A Punjab religious teacher : the author of the 

Sikh Religion. 

N'ar'ayana: God as the all-pervading principle ; synoni- 
mous with Vishnu. 

N'astika : Unbeliever. 

Neti Neti : (See Atman). Advaitists say only Neti Neti 
(not this, not this) of Brahman. 

NiMiTTA Dosha : Impurity in food arising from contact 
with dirt, hair, &c. 

Nirv'ana: With Buddhists and Jains absolute extinction 
of individual existence. With Vedantins, the supre- 
me existence. 

NiDHiDHYASA : Constant reflection. 

Nuddea : The birth-place of Chaitanya, and the seat of 
logic in Bengal. 

Om : A generic word for Brahman : the most sacred name 
for Brahman among the Hindus. 

Ota prota : The warp and the woof. 

Paramatman : The Supreme self or the Brahman as dis- 
tinguished from the Pratyagatman or the individual 

Parinama : Change of state ; evolution. 

P AN INI : The greatest of Sanskrit grammarians. 

Patanjali : Name of th^ celebrated author of the grea^ 

• • * 


commentary on Panini ; also the saint teacher of the 

Yoga Philosophy. 
Pauranics : Followers of the Puranas. 
Pa'supatis : A Tantric sect who follow the teachings of 

the Pasupata A'gama Sastra These worship Siva in 

one of his forms as a Supreme Deity of the Hindu 

Pandit: A professor, or learned man. 
Prakriti : UndiflFerentiated nature. 
Pralaya : The involution of a cycle. 
Pratyaksham : Direct perception, without the use of the 

Prahlada : The boy-sage, the son of Asura Hiranya 

Kasipu, who was rescued from his father's tortures by 

God appearing in the form of Narasimha. 
Prana : The force which vibrates the internal organ of 


Prasthanas: Literally, march or progress. Here land- 
marks in the progress of Vedanta. The three Pras- 
thanas are the Upanishads, the Gita and the Brahma- 

PuNYA Bhu'mi : The holy land of the Hindus, bounded 
on the North by the Himalayas, on the South by the 
Vindhya Mountains, and on the East and West by 
the Sea. 

Pur'anam Panchalakshanam : Possessing five charac- 
teristics. Every Purana ought strictly to comprehend 
five topics, viz. the creation of the Universe, its des- 
truction and renovation, the genealogy of gods a-nd 
patriarchs, the reigns of the Manus, of the history of 
the Solar and Lunar races. 

Pur'anvs: Certain well known sacred works comprising 
the whole body of Hindu mythology, and ancient 
history, legendary and traditionary. 


Rahasya: Secret. 

Rajas : The quality of activity. 

Rajasulla: A prophet, corresponding to the Arabic 

Rama : An AvataV : the hero of the Ramayana. 
Ra'ma'nuja: The great Southern Indian teacher of 

Qualified Monism. 
Rik: a hymn. 

RiSHi : A seer of thought : a sage. 
Sakara: Personal; as distinguished from Nirakara^ 

Samadhi : The hyperconscious state of abstract Medi* 

SoHAM : " I am It." 
Saguna : With qualities. 
Sakti: Theprincipleof primal energy personfiied. Saktas; 

are the tantric worshippers of this sakti as the mani- 

festive force of the supreme being. 
Sa'ma Veda : One of the three Vedas, the principal part 

of its mantras being specially arranged for chanting. 

by the Udgatri priests at the Soma rituals. 
Samashti : A collective aggregate viewed as consisting: 

of parts of which each is consubstantially the same 

with the whole totality : The universal as distinct 

from the Vyashti, or infinite not composed of parts- 
Samhita: The sacrificial and ceremonial part of the 

Samsa'ra : The state of being subject to birth and death. 
Sankara'charya: The great Southern Indian teacher 

of Advaitism. 
Sankocha: Gontr ction of the soul, a term used hy 

Sankshipta'm': Abridgeid. . - 

Sannya^si : A monk, one who has renounced th^ ^ovld- • 


S'astra : Any sacred book or scientific treatise of divine 
or standard authority. 

Satchida'nandam : Existence knowledge bliss absolute. 

Sattva: Purity; the quality which when it predominat- 
es in a person, makes him calm, chaste, true : the 
equilibrium between Rajas and Tamas. 

SiDDHis : The supernatural Yogic powers 

SiROMANi : A nayayik, logician of Nuddea. 

Sisupa'la : A king of the Chedis, Central India. His 
impiety in opposing the worship of Sri Krishna is 
described in the Mahabharata** 

Si'ta : The wife of Rama, and the heroine of the Rama- 

Siva : One name for God Saivites, or followers of Siva, 
are mostly monists, excepting in Southern India. 

Sloka : A verse, especially belonging to the Samhita 
portion of the Vedas. 

Smar'ta : A Brahmin skilled in jurisprudence or tradition- 
al law especially one belonging to a sect founded by 

Smriti: Institutes of traditional or memorial law as 
handed down by inspired legislators* They were 
called Smriti, what is remembered, in contradistinc- 
tion to Sruti what is heard or revealed. 

SOMNATH OF GuJERAT : A temple which is repeatedly 
famous in history by reason of its destruction by 
Mahmud of Ghazni after twelve invasions of the 

SouRA : The Solar- 

Spandhana: Vibration. 

Srautha S'utras : Certain Sutra works based on Sruti or 
the Veda. 

Srotriva : A Brahmin versed in Vedic learning. 

Srutj : The Vedas ue.y Sound etert\a\\^ Vi^t^x^^tAdx^tmg 

from smriti or what is only remembered and handed 
down by human authors. It is specially applied to 
the Mantra and Brahmana portion of the Vedas as 
also to the Upanishads and other Vedic works. 

S'uDRA : The fouth caste whose only business according 
to Manu was to serve the three higher castes. 

S'uFi : Mahomedan Vedantins 

SuKSHMA Sar'ira : The fine body which persists after 
the death of the gross body. 

Tamas : The quality of dullness or ignorance. Accor- 
ding to Vedantins, chaos or that state of matter 
anterior to Prakriti 

Tantras : Religious treatises teaching mystical formu- 
laries for the worship of the deities or the attain- 
ment of superhuman power. They are mostly in 
the form of dialogues between Siva and Durga, or 
some such deities. Tantrics are followers of the 

Tapas : Asceticism, austerity. 

Tat twam asi : That thou art. 

TiRTHA : A place rendered sacred by holy associations, 
especially along the course of sacred'streams or in the 
vicinity of sacred springs. 

Tripitakas . Literally the three baskets. The three Collec- 
tion of Buddhist sacred literature. 

Upanishads: Those sacred writings attached to the Brah- 
manas of the Vedas, They are more than a hundred 
in number and are the source of the six systems of 
Hindu Philosophy 

Upasana: Worship. 

Urdhwamu'lam : Literally, having the root turned up- 
wards ; referring to " The tree of Creation'* referred 
to in the Gita XV— i 

Vajsyas; The third caste, v^Vvose b\x%\v\^"ss» x^'as* -ac^j^v^NaJv- 


ture ai^d trade. 

V'alm'iki : The author of the Ramayana, X^^ fii'st Sans- 
crit epic poem. 

V'am'aoh'^rin : One who follows the ritual of the Tantras 
i.e tb© worship of Sakti or energy personified as the 
wife of Siva, according to the grosser system (in 
which the eating of flesh and drinking of spirits &c., 
is practised. 

Varn'asrama : The caste and order. 

Varuna-. One of the oldest Vedic gods presiding over 
the night. In the Vedas he is often connected with 
the waters, especially with the waters of the firma- 

V'atsy'ayana : The author of certain Vedic Sutras, 

Vallabhacharya : The teacher of the Visuddhadvaita 
system of Monism. 

Vada : Doctrine. 

Vaikuntha : Empyrean of Vishnu 

Vairagya : Renunciation. 

Veda : Lit. true knowledge ; the name by which the 
Hindu Scriptures are known. The four VeVas are, 
the Eig-Veda, 2. the Yajur-Veda, 3. the Sama-Veda,. 
4. Atharva-Veda. 

Veda'nta: Lit. the end of the Vedas : The third of the three 
great divisions of the Hindu philosophy and is main- 
ly founded upon the Upanishads. It may be said ta 
constitute the true Veda of the modern cultivated 

Vignana: That which is not knowledge or wisdom, 

ViBHU : Omnipresent. 

Vik'asa : Expansion of the Soul, according to Ramanuja. 

Vira't: The all-rar'^'ant universal form of the Supreme 

K/s/shta'dvaitist : Qualified IAotv\?»t.